Saturday, 29 June 2013

I'm new to the Homeland craze, after buying my boyfriend series 1 for his birthday. We started watching it whilst on our recent holiday and are currently hooked.

Miss Fisher Mysteries



If you loved the fashions of The Great Gatsby, and love a good murder mystery drama, then Miss Fisher Mysteries is right up your street. Set in 1920s Australia, the fashions and jazz music are enough to get me to watch, add a 'spunky' lady detective who doesn't like to conform to the norm, and I've wasted a good few hours in front of this.

Aside from my recent book review, I've found a new love of magazines. I fell out of favour with magazines since discovering blogs, as I often found them to be rather out of sync with what was hot fashion wise in the blogging world. However, recently I've discovered two new magazines worth spending my (recently) rather limited funds on. The Simple Things and Pretty Nostalgic, are more lifestyle rather than fashion magazines, which blog-wise I prefer, so I think this is why they have appealed so much.
I intend to do a more detailed review on Pretty Nostalgic later on this week - check back for why I love it so much.
Me and my boyfriend have recently returned from a short break in Northumberland. It was our first holiday together with the pup, so was a very different holiday to the ones we've previously had together. Being in the middle of nowhere with next to no Internet, is actually quite liberating, and I've enjoyed my break from the social media world. Full detailed post of this to come.
Sadly, and un-interestingly, this month appears to have been mostly full of work. I was genuinely struggling to think of things that I had been up to this month, aside from work, hence the shortness of this post. Due to the confidential nature of my work, I'm unable to discuss what I have been doing, but of late it hasn't particularly excited me as much as usual. That maybe due to the fact that I've been unwell.
I've been suffering with toothache this last month. Mostly through my own fault, as I failed to do anything about a recently broken one, but over time its slowly got worse. I'm on my second set of antibiotics, and it's just generally made me feel rather unwell all round. I've been to have it checked out and the appropriate referrals have been made, so hopefully long term it will all be rectified.
A rather short (and late) monthly mostly post, but I do like to try and keep to some of the more regular posts now I've started them.
What have you been Mostly.......?

Bows Bangles and Bakes Book Review - The House of Silk

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

"THE GAME’S AFOOT… It is November 1890 and London is gripped by a merciless winter. Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are enjoying tea by the fire when an agitated gentleman arrives unannounced at 221b Baker Street. He begs Holmes for help, telling the unnerving story of a scar-faced man with piercing eyes who has stalked him in recent weeks. Intrigued by the man’s tale, Holmes and Watson find themselves swiftly drawn into a series of puzzling and sinister events, stretching from the gas-lit streets of London to the teeming criminal underworld of Boston. As the pair delve deeper into the case, they stumble across a whispered phrase ‘the House of Silk’: a mysterious entity and foe more deadly than any Holmes has encountered, and a conspiracy that threatens to tear apart the very fabric of society itself…"
So although this is yet another book set in the past, it's a slight deviation from what I have been reading recently. I've always loved a good mystery story, and the Sherlock Holmes stories are classic.
The House of Silk, by Anthony Horowitz, is billed as the "New Sherlock Holmes" novel. Sherlock Holmes spin offs are nothing new, but what makes this one different is that it is approved by the Conan Doyle Estate, and as Anthony Horowitz writes one of my favourite historical detective dramas - Foyle's War, I had reasonably high hopes for this book.
The premise is set up well, and Dr Watson explains that, whilst writing his later years, this case is one of the most disturbing that he and Holmes ever worked, and leaves it with his will, with the rule that it would not be read for 100 years, explaining why it has only just come to light now. Horowitz sticks to the tradition of having Dr Watson as Holmes biographer, and the context and tone is written in a way that is not dissimilar to that of Doyle himself.
The actual mystery is devilishly trickey, and twists and turns and backtracks on itself so many times, that until Holmes explains everything at the end, you have no idea how the whole thing knits together. Holmes is his usual eccentric, yet brilliant self, but not without his demons. Mycroft Holmes and Inspector Lestrade make appropriate, and somewhat familiar appearances (although Mycroft rarely appears in the original novels) with some other new and interesting characters along the way - although one name may be more familiar than you initially realise.
I really enjoyed this book, and it easily fits in with the original Arthur Conan Doyle stories, and I understand Anthony Horowitz recently tweeted he is currently working on another.
Have you read 'The House of Silk'? Are you a Sherlock Holmes fan?

#SheffieldMeetUp Buys

Saturday, 22 June 2013

So at the #SheffieldMeetUp, I made a few sneaky purchases! There wasn't lots and lots of time for shopping, and Meadowhall was really busy, so I didn't get to look at as much as I perhaps would have liked.
Whilst in Lush, I filled my basket with some new lovely bath goodies, including FUN, and one of my old favourites, You've Been Mangoed Bath Melt. I've recently tried the Twilight Bath Ballistic, and I love the smell - it even makes my bathroom smell nice just by being in there, so I repurchased this too. Floating Island, is a new try for me, although I think it's a Lush old timer, so I'm looking forward to trying this.

I've been looking for a nice nude lipstick for a while, but some were just too nude against my pale complexion. This lipstick by Rimmel London, in Notting Hill Nude, is the right amount of nude and the right amount of colour.

 My favourite and biggest purchase, was this, quite frankly, BEAUTIFUL Topshop winged zip detail bag!!! I'm more than a little bit in love with it. It has a bit of a vintage style with a modern twist, and I adore the colour, as it goes with almost everything, and it's nice and summery.

I love the little detail in the luggage tag and the buckle strap, along with the fact that the colour is carried inside the bag onto the internal pocket. And at £42, I think it was a bargain, as most Topshop bags are much more expensive. Its a really good size, and gets everything and the kitchen sink in, without feeling absolutely humongous. It makes a fab work bag. I can't find this colour on the website anymore, but they do it in a really nice Grey, which would be a nice neutral shade, and there's a monochrome one that I'm very tempted by!


So, I didn't buy massive amounts at the blogger meet up, but I did buy a few things. I did buy another bag from Primark, before finding the Topshop one, however, I haven't used it at all, so I gave it to a friend who liked it instead - as It was only £12, I didn't mind so much.
Do you go to blogger meet ups? What sorts of things do you tend to buy?


Sunday, 16 June 2013

You may remember aaaaaages I said I was going along to my first official blogger meet up event. This post has been a very long time coming, and I've managed to hold back from using all these goodies until now!! But it's now starting to drive my crazy, so I figured I'd better get around to photographing everything so I could dive in!
The event was organised by Rachel, Caroline and Charlotte, and the girls sorted out so many amazing things for us bloggers, including a free lunch, a fab goody bag, ith amazing persoanlised tags, and a presentation by Lush and further goodies! 
 I practically bullied Abby into coming along with me, and we met about an hour before, at the entrance of Meadowhall. We did a bit of wandering round, before making our way to the meeting.
We were treated to our lunch at Handmade Burger Co. I've eaten there before, and knew how big the portions of chips were, so it was quite funny to see everyone's reactions! They generously gave us all a free burger side and refillable drink. I had a chicken burger, but I did eye up a minted lamb burger for a while!
I sat with Rachel, Abby  and Frances - here's a picture of us with Rachel, who organised the meet up. The girls on my table were lovely, and we had a good old chat, and all admired Frances camera (and her cute little hat!) a lot.
Picture kindly donated by Rachel of Lost In Lipstick
Goodie Bag Goodies
We then had a sneaky rummage through our lovely goodie bags, and a raffle (in which I was lucky enough to win a prize!) before quick wander around Primark, as it was really busy, before heading down to Lush.
Raffle Prize!
We were told all about Lush's ethics, how the company began, from a previously failed company, and about some of the ingredients they use. We were shown one of the new products, FUN, and the Emotional Brilliance range. Finally we were treated to a bumper goody bag! We were all amazed at how much they had given us, and you would think we wouldn't need to buy anything, but a blogger in Lush is like a bee to a honeypot, and I certainly filled one of the lovely wicker baskets!
Lush Lessons

I had a fabulous day, although I was really tired by the end of it! and I got the chance to meet some amazing bloggers. I would certainly recommend anyone to go along to a blogger meet up if you get the chance.
I'll be sharing some of my purchases in my next post. 

MAC Superslick Liquid Eyeliner

Thursday, 6 June 2013

 Although things have been on the up since the other weekend, I still don't appear to have caught up in terms of  work, sleep, general relaxation, and blogging.It's almost a month since the #SheffieldMeetUp, yet I still haven't finished photographing everything (I really need to as I want to start using some of it!) and I've got not 1, but 2 new handbags to share, plus lots and lots of other posts that keep popping into my head as the days go by thinking "I must blog about that." I'm not going to apologise for not blogging all the time or anything like that, as I'd rather wait until I've genuinely got the time to blog properly rather than just bash something a bit half hearted out.
However, saying that, this post has been loitering in my drafts, so I've pulled it out of my blog-bank so to speak, whilst I have a word with myself and generally stop becoming the disorganised mess I seem to be right now (in general, not just blog wise!) I'm hoping once this weekend of birthday shenanigans is out of the way, it's all downhill to two free weekends and a nice country holiday.
Anyway less of my random ramblings!
I don't generally own much MAC make-up - I'll be completely honest, the counters and the counter ladies scare me! Its really loud, really busy, every seems to know exactly what they are doing, and the counter girls are so heavily made up I'm scared what I may come away looking like. I've had bad MAC experiences in the past where I've just been made to feel a bit of an inconvenience and have been looked at by some of the staff, almost as if I've got lost on my way somewhere else! But following a twitter chat many moons ago, talking about my fear of liquid liner, along with a few other bloggers, I figured where better to start than MAC, for something as dramatic as liquid liner.
The girl who served me this particular day was absolutely lovely! I cannot for the life of me remember her name, but she works in the Meadowhall store and is hard of hearing/deaf, so if you do know her, please pass on my regards! She was really sweet and helpful and didn't make me feel as though I was wasting my time. An added bonus was her own make up style didn't frighten me off, which I think is always a plus point, and she happily guided me in the direction of the liquid liners. She recommended that as a newbie with probably an unsteady hand, I should try the MAC Superslick Liquid Eyeliner. She explained the brush tip was quite fine and easy to handle, and it dried quite quickly so I could draw it on a little at a time and build it up. She also explained that this would additionally stop it transferring onto the top of my eyelid  - that along with wobbliness and generally runniness have been just some of my problems - along with not getting it close enough to the lash line. I left the counter feeling excited and happy, rather than frightened and intimidated.
I'm still not a complete expert in it's application, but I feel I've been much more able to apply liquid liner in a way which is more daytime appropriate than I've ever previously been able to manage, as usually it's so thick it's only been appropriate for night time. At £16.50 a pop, it's not a particularly cheap eyeliner to have a 'play around' with, but if you are a genuine beginner at liquid liner, but fairly competent in make up application in other areas, I think it's certainly worth your money if you genuinely believe you are going to continue using it, once you've perfected your technique. I think its likely to be great for seasoned pro's as well, as the tip is superfine and, with a steady hand, will create a super slick thin flick with no problems. I'm certainly a long way off this yet, but a girl can hope!
Have you tried MAC Superslick? What tips do you have for people who aren't very confident in applying liquid liner?
Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs