Random Chatter

Fifteen Years Later…

I just wanted to write this post as I my head is full of thoughts at the moment.

I have had a lovely busy weekend, but one of the best things that happened that after about fifteen or sixteen years of not seeing her, I met up with an old friend. We used to be close. There were four of us girls and we all somehow lost touch with each other around the same time. I guess we were all growing up and going in different directions. We never fell out or anything, we just changed is my guess. In your early twenties you really start to explore the world and our journeys just stopped running parallel at some point…

Well, we befriended each other on Facebook about five years ago, but we were living in different countries at the time, so the subject of meeting up never came up. I have moved back a couple of years ago and we finally decided to catch up. It was such a treat!

Seeing her now after all these years still felt so familiar. In age we are only a week or two apart, but our lives have been so different. It was so interesting and heartbreaking to hear what she had been up to in those intervening years. Life has not always been easy for her. I always looked up to her when we were younger and she is still such a strong person, who is so worthy of my admiration. She comes at life from a very different angle than I do, but that is what life’s experiences do to you, I suppose

We spoke about the ‘olden days’ and I was surprised to learn how insecure she had been. She had always come across so confident. But then,  I think I used to just come across as if I did not care what anybody thought, whilst actually I worried about that constantly.

I do not miss being a teenager or my early twenties. Sure, there is a sense of nostalgia and I had wonderful times, but now, at the wrong side of 35, I know I am more confident and happy than I have ever been. I finally feel like I know myself, that I have stopped caring so much about what other people think of me. I am who I am now, and if someone does not like that, well, that’s their problem. Being reminded of teenage angst I have suddenly realised how wonderful that is.

Sure, I have some regrets, like everyone, and I still have some body issues and I still second guess myself all the time, but I have realised that is normal. Everone does. Perfection does not exist! But I know I have a pretty good life; I have a wonderful husband and a daughter that means the world to me. I live in an amazing place in an amazing house with the people and animals I love. I am lucky.

And yesterday, I built an old friendship anew and we left each other with a big hug and a promise to meet up again soon. Life can be bloody good sometimes and I just wanted to share that.

Happy Sunday!

Lifestyle · Random Chatter

Fashionista I definitely am not: Cozy Knitwear Dresses

What? A post not about books? Yes, this is one of those rare creatures – don’t get used to it! I will be back to books next time, I promise!

I am struck down with the lurgy at the moment and feel like I want to curl up with a book and not do anything at all. Alas, I have a five-year-old, who is watching Casper at the moment, and I am about to begin dinner. Maybe tonight? Or is there anything good on Netflix I should watch?

Anyway, autumn has got me well and truly in its evil pumpkin grip and I feel the pull of woolly clothes! Now I normally live in jeans and jumpers throughout winter, but low and behold, I suddenly felt the need for a knitwear dress! Shock! Horror!

Mint & Berry knitted dressWell, I found this particular one I really loved by Mint & Berry that came in grey, black or wine red, with this lovely wintery knit pattern on it. I had set my heart on the wine red one, but of course my size was sold out. In fact, all colours were sold out in my size! Hmpffff!

So I looked on and found a couple more that I liked (though not as much as the first one) and ordered them. The fact that it is one of those website where you don’t have to pay until you have tried them on and can send them back for free if they don’t fit, makes it very easy! The black one is by Derhy and is a little expensive, but if it fits great and the quality is there, I don’t mind splashing out a bit… The grey jumper dress by Twintips just looks so cozy!

Of course a day later I got a message that the grey one of the original dress I liked was back in stock, so I ordered that one anyway, and then today I got a message to say the one I really wanted, the wine red one was back in stock, I ordered that one as well. Anyway, I have four dresses on the way. I have told myself I can keep two if they fit nicely and have to send the other two back…

Hopefully they will arrive in the next few days and I will be able to try them on!

Anyway, end of non-book post…

Please link to one of your non-book posts if you have done any!



Random Chatter


One of those days – well, yesterday was one of those days. My phone must have fallen out of my pocket and I must have managed to drive over it. Yes, honestly! What a dimwit, right???!!!! Apart from that, I appear to have forgotten appointments left, right and centre, so there is clearly a brain fart going on somewhere!

– and breathe –

Anyway, new phone should be on its way. Was cheaper to get a new two-year contract with a new Nexus 5X (same phone i already had) than it was to repair the screen, which was smashed to smithereens! Honestly!

Oh, and also, I had to get a new laptop last week, as my old one was misbehaving and then some. So my personal electronic devices seem to have a vendetta against me at the moment! Come to think of it, our dishwasher is also playing up. What did I do to offend the God of electronics?

Anyway, I will go and read for a bit now, to settle my mind and wait for my new phone to arrive. I have to read Promise of the Wolves, as I can neither listen to audible or read my kindle books, as that’s all on my phone.

To cheer me up, I will do a song of the day today. Let’s go for Lollipop (Ode to Jim) by Alvvays as they had their new album out on 8 September and I am going to see them on Sunday (yay!!!!).

Hope you’re all having a good day!

Lifestyle · Monthly Favourites · Random Chatter

August Favourites… Books and otherwise

Cannot believe the month of August is almost over. Somehow it has gone by in the flash. After a 30 degree day yesterday, it is raining a lot today. End of summer is in sight. I thought it would be a good time to look at my favourite things from this past month. Of course, I will touch on my favourite books that I read this month, but also on beauty, music and whatever else pops into my head.

Let’s start with…

I actually read the best books at the beginning and the end of the month. The first two books I read this month:  I, The Aboriginal by Douglas Lockwood and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern were both excellent (both 6 out of 7 stars!) and I am just getting to the end of my re-read of The Shadow of the Wind, which will also be 6 stars. Those three are head and shoulders above anything else I have read this month, and I read quite a few books, as I will get to in my August wrap-up later in the week.

1708 Favourite Books

I am not much of a beauty fanatic, but I do think carefully about what I use. I try and use mostly natural products. This month I have been pretty natural and have not really worn make-up that much. Summer does that to me!

1708 favourite beauty

But I thought I would chat briefly about some of the products that I have loved using this month. I am a big fan of the La Fare 1789 skincare line. I have been using the Ideal Cream and Intense Night Cream daily and my skin is loving that stuff. I used something else for a little while and I can definitely tell that my skin is grateful I have returned to using La Fare! I have been using it in combination with the Living Nature gel toner, which is another staple in my skincare routine. Love it!

For stink protection, I have mainly been using The Ohms Collection powder deodorant. Works a treat, even in hot weather.

Summer is hardly the time for heavy foundations and on the days that I could be bothered to put some on I have been using 100% Pure BB Cream, which I love so so much. It evens out my skin tone without looking like I have anything on. It’s a product I will buy over and over again, because it works so well for me. It’s pretty light to medium coverage, as I don’t use that much, and is perfect for me. On days on which I just had to battle the sunscreen shine, I tend to use the Avril powder. So cheap, so amazing! Takes away the shine, but it’s pretty much invisible.

I have been using the Lily Lolo Pedal to the Metal eye shadow palette this month. It has a pretty taupe colour, which is perfect as a base and some pretty shimmer colours to combine with it. None of the colours are that pigmented, but when you want just light make-up, that is fine. There’s hardly any fall-out, which is a bonus! I like the size of this palette – it’s tiny!!!

It’s been one of those months that I have often gone out of the house with nothing but some lipstick on, but I have not been religiously using one particular colour. Though I have to say, the Lily Lolo lip gloss in Damson Dusk is soooo pretty!

Apart from that I have been using my usuals; my Lily Lolo mascara, the Nabla Brow Divine pencil.

I admit, I am still an indie chick at heart. I guess I always will be. I am eagerly anticipating Alvvays new album, which is out at the beginning of September. I have been listening to my usual suspects really, but for the last couple of months I have fallen in love with The Big Moon. Their album Love in the 4th Dimension, is one of my favourites of this year. It’s awesome! It has been rightly nominated for the Mercury Music Prize. I have also listened to Arcade Fire‘s new album Everything Now this month. It has had a lot of bad reviews and people generally seem to hate it, but I actually quite like it. No, it does not sound like the old albums, but why should it?

Song of the month: The Road – The Big Moon

I love how summery it sounds! That slow guitar, that hypnotic drum, that lazy vocal – perfection!

I have been really enjoying using Goodreads this month. I love seeing what other people are reading or what they are putting on their to-read lists. Also love the reviews. God, I have added a lot of books to my to-read list since I have been keeping an eye on Goodreads!

I have also been enjoying season 7 of Game of Thrones. Though I feel it was not as good as earlier seasons, it is still miles better than anything else I have watched this month! I just felt the characters fell a bit flat this season and it did not feel as exciting. The final episode was the best of the season by far.

Instant latte macchiato. I don’t tend to like instant coffee, but I have been enjoying a cheeky instant latte macchiato after dropping my girl off at primary school. It feels far more luxurious than it should for sure!

That’s it for my favourites for this month. My August book wrap-up is on its way!

Books · Random Chatter

Ramblings about BookTube, Book Shelves and Reading Challenges…


I just  thought I would do a bookish stream-of-consciousness sort of thing. I have no idea where this is going, but we will see.

The first thing I want to touch on is ‘BookTube’. When I started this blog, I briefly toyed with the idea of starting a YouTube channel as many people do these days, but quickly decided I would much rather write than talk. I do feel like my age-group (ie 35+) is sorely underrepresented on there, but the idea of posting a video of myself chatting rubbish makes me shudder, ha!  Now I can just write a blog post whenever I feel like it. Much more suited to my random nature.

I do like to watch some BookTube videos every now and then and it has been a great way to find new books to read. The other day though, I was watching these videos of various different Youtubers and what struck me was how pristine their bookshelves look. How perfect their books look. Lots of beautiful hardbacks, etc. For a moment I felt jealous, but then I remembered what I love about my own books and the shelves they are on.

My bookshelves? I love the bookshelves in my living room. I have a twin pair, made of mango wood, each about 90cm wide and 2m high. The contents? Not quite so pretty. A lot of my books look well-loved and were like that when I got them. You see, I tend to buy my books second-hand 80% of the time. I like second-hand books. I love browsing second-hand book shops and charity shops (see my previous post). You never know what you mind find!

Having said that, I do want to tidy my book shelves up a bit, as they are almost completely random at the moment and I feel I should bring some order into them.

I have a lot of paperbacks, as I prefer that format for reading (and they take up less space). Apart from the aforementioned living room bookcases, we very recently picked up a bookcase for the office as well, which still needs filling. We got it mainly to get the remaining books that have been lingering in our spare wardrobe out of there and to have a space for office stuff, but it also does give me an opportunity to introduce some sort of system. What books to put on show downstairs and which to put in the office, you know, stuff like that. Would I want our bookcases downstairs to look more organised and aesthetically pleasing? Maybe, a little, but I still want them to reflect me, busy, unorganised and a little crazy. 🙂

I have ordered a load of books that I will be picking up when we are in England next week (quite a few of them second-hand of course!). I will need to give them a space, which I don’t have at the moment, so I guess after our holidays will be a great time to update and re-organise my bookshelves. I may wait till my daughter goes back to school at the end of August, so I can take my time doing it without her questioning every move I make! Is it crazy that I am looking forward to that?

Oh, back to BookTube. The BookTube-A-Thon is this week and I was watching a couple of videos on the reading challenges and some BookTubers’ TBR list for this week.

The challenges are:

  1. Read a book with a person on the cover.
  2. Read a hyped book.
  3. Finish a book in one day.
  4. Read about a character that is very different from you.
  5. Finish a book completely outside.
  6. Read a book that you bought because of the cover.
  7. Read seven books.

Now, of course I am not a BookTuber, and even if I was, no way I could get through seven books in a week! That’s one book a day. How would I ever find the time!

However, I will set myself those exact same challenges, but for the whole month of August. So that is 31 days to do all of the above. Seven books in a month seems far more feasible to me! I will try and pick my books for the challenges before the week is out.

What do your bookshelves look like? Will you be doing a form of this challenge?


Random Chatter

Seven years ago… Let’s try that again!

So I found this document on my computer the other day. When I was thinking about the two mediocre books I had just finished, I remembered once upon a time I kept a ‘books read’ document, pre-child. I used to go to the library a lot back then and read quite a lot. By the looks of it I read almost 50 books in a year. I so want to get back to that. I read about half that now, but I have realised there are quite a few books on my book shelves that I have not read yet or that I have forgotten reading and my to-read list is getting longer and longer, so let’s do something about it.

Anyway, back to the document. It was kind of interesting, because I kept a log that gave a one-word first impression after my first reading session and then a one-sentence final impression. I kind of like that now, seeing what I thought. Many of these books I had forgotten I read as well!

It’s something I want to achieve with this blog – to keep a log of the books I have read and what I thought of them.

So, I will create some sort of page at the top of my blog to list all the books I have read, books that I own, etc… I am going to enjoy playing around with that I think.

I am way too into this. Clearly, I have nothing better to do, which is the biggest lie!