A Photo Tour of My Fave Place in the House

Even though for me to feel peaceful and relaxed I need the main living area of a house to be airy, open and calm, my fave place in my home has to be the bedroom. It’s like a little cave filled with sparkly, interesting and collectible things.

I do my hair and makeup in the bathroom as there’s a really wide mirror and more natural light. This is for costume jewellery, perfume, nail polish and pin badges etc in trinket boxes.

The view I have at the foot of the bed. Nice and plane but bright with the light pouring in through the yellow and gold curtains. Oh, and Guss the gargoyle.

Books, gifts, geeky collectibles and fossils, rocks and gems. Some of my fave albums on CD which should be in the ‘memory crate’ instead on display.

Above the bed.

I had a marble desk and pin board before I was a blogger and it was such a bloggers clique lol. Some pretty little things now live on the left of my pin board because they aren’t fit for their original purpose anymore. Film books, graphic novels and free copy of Festival Annual that one of my photo’s was featured in. A cut glass vase I rescued from a house clearance (hiding behind my Funko’s) that looks like a pineapple.

Hope you enjoyed the tour! I’d love to have a nosey around your fave place.

Chrissie

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

An older couple Jack and Mabel move to a homestead in 1920’s Alaska to find a better quality of life. Mabel quietly longs for the child she lost years before and prefers the isolation of their cabin, rather than socialising at first.

On a rather unusual evening they have fun throwing snowballs and building a snow girl together. After that, each catch a glimpse through the trees of a little girl with a fox.

This is a wonderful book about how people come into each other’s lives, sometimes at the perfect moment. Ivey’s vivid descriptions of the bleak, yet awesome Alaskan countryside and the hard work it takes to survive in this environment really drew me in.

****SPOILER ALERT****

In the entire book there is only a very short and vague sentence which actually ties fact and fairytale together; when Mabel says that Faina surely would have died in the cold had we not built our snow girl at that very same moment, and now Faina is here with us.

The best I have been able to decide is that she is a human who was about to die but through the couples wish to have a child, she was saved and bestowed by nature with powers to thrive in the freezing weather and to control it but also a kind of curse relating to it as well.

Rating 4/5

Chrissie

Best of My Alternative & Urban Lifestyle 2017

January 

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Best footwear – Iridescent Nike ID with my name ‘Wench’ on the back.

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Best Chinese/Japanese/Thai Eatery – Lotus, Wilmslow Road, Withington, is a vegetarian family restaurant serving an amazing choice of mock meats and fish as well as traditional EA dishes.

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Best Cruelty-free Face Serum/Moisuriser/Oil – Eden’s Semilla Serums. If you have an uneven skin texture or your skin is dry/combination or you are seeing signs of ageing, then these two serums will leave your skin noticeably plumped, hydrated and balanced all day.

February

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Best Stationary – I bought this diary from Paperchase as I loved the colours and the layout. I decided to use it as a ‘Best thing today’ or ‘happiness’ journal where I write down anything positive that happened that day, even if it was just getting creative in the kitchen for lunch.

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Best Dairy-free Snack – These Ten Acre crisps taste amazing! I had three people insisting that they read the ingredients because they just couldn’t believe they were dairy free. Gluten and MSG free too.

March

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Best Cruelty-free, Temporary, Hair Dye – Manic Panick (the one in a tub) has a thick consistency which means it’s really easy to dip a tint brush into and apply, without getting it every where. It comes in every colour you can imagine and is gentle on coarse/dry/damaged hair. It started out a deep teal colour and has now faded to this after around 12 washes.

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Best Place To Buy Affordable Jeans – Matalan. Yup, for real. They do various fits with several styles in each. I chose a skinny, mid-rise style. Even if if you have a food-baby the next day it doesn’t matter because they stretch to fit, which also means you can wear them for ages before they go baggy at the knees and need washing.

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Best Cruelty-free Mens Skincare – My Bloke loves Bull Dog Original range because it doesn’t have a strong scent and is cruelty free with no unnecessary ingredients so it’s very simple yet effective.

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Best Place For Omnivores and Vegetarians To Eat Together – Zouk. I was invited to try their new menu and found that there were enough choices to keep me satisfied and the food was of good quality and cooked well. There’s also a little cocktail bar with a wonderful menu. I can imagine most groups of friends being happy here.

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Best Smoothie/Blended Drink Recipe – I will share this with anyone who will listen LOL Rice Milk/Soy Milk, Heaped tbl spn peanut butter, Medium banana, Maple syrup/Golden Syrup. Add Bournville choccy powder (mixed with a little cold milk first) to turn into a Snickers smoothie.

April

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Best Cruelty-free Nail Polish – I love the original colours and finishes that Zoya offer. I’ve also found that it’s very gentle on my brittle nails and last as long as other ‘long wear’ polishes which are double the price.

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Best Manchester Outdoor Space – Fletcher Moss. Is a beautiful landscaped garden filled with flowers, trees and a pond, with a little heather garden to the side. They have toilets (very rustic) and a cafe. Stenner Wood is right behind if you want to feel like you are in the countryside for a little while.

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Best Cruelty-free Household Product – Beauty Kitchen. I know a lot of people who wouldn’t dream of using beauty products tested on animals but never consider getting CF items for around the house. Gentle on sensitive and/or dry skin with a beautiful scent this organic hand wash is a winner.

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Best Alternative Online Shop – EMP have branched out from rock/goth wear, band merch and geek pop-culture to also include urban style. Honestly, I could browse it all day. Some clothing items can be a bit pricey (depending on the brand) but they have little twists of originality, are of high quality and the sizing charts are the most accurate I’ve come across.

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Best Dairy-free Easter Chocolate – Choices, found in Holland & Barrett and supermarket free-from isles – if you are lucky. Remember those white mice you used to get as a kid? Well this is 100% better!

May

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Best Spirit – Dark rum in general of course but has to be Sailor Jerry, followed very closely by The Kraken. SJ took it for their perpetually creative labelling.

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Best Unexpected Bargain – I got bored while my bloke was in the army surplus shop and found this tiny vest on sale! I chopped the neck out slightly so it was more flattering.

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Best Tidy Solution – I used this pretty box a prezzie came in and an old watch tin a friend gave me to store the makeup that I use daily. I’ve chucked out anything that really wasn’t working for me and the rest (very similar colours to what’s here already or party makeup) is in a transparent wash bag under the sink. So much quicker to see what I’ve got and where it is!

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Best Indian Eatery – Hands down has to be Lilly’s in Ashton, Greater Manchester. They have an extensive but comprehensive menu of the most delicious vegetarian food. From hearty traditional dishes to quick street food for lunch and creative combinations of ingredients on their Indo-Chinese menu, you will want to visit several times to try it all.

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Best Cruelty-free Makeup Brand – Elf. Every single one of their product I’ve used has worked perfectly for me. Products are true to how they’ve been shown/described on the site, they are easy to apply and long wearing. Worst goes to Soap & Glory – just ugh!

 June

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Best Charity Merchandise – This One Love Manchester jumper I bought for the survivors of the Manchester Arena bombing. Obviously being a Manc this is very close to my heart but I genuinely love the graffiti style of lettering.

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Best Cruelty-free Shampoo – Weleda, Calendula Shampoo and Body Wash. Rarely have I come across a shampoo that is so gentle on my coarse frizzy hair as this. Some ‘natural’ shampoo’s I’ve used have left my hair matted and feeling like straw but I didn’t even need conditioner after this! As usual I just oiled my hair when it was still damp and left to air dry. Perfect.

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Best Full Vegetarian or Vegan Eatery – V Revolution. Creative American-style fast food, which is surprisingly healthy and tastes of individual ingredients, rather than salt and ketchup. Order a White Russian cocktail for a glass of heaven.

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Best Energy Drink or Snack – I had to go with Rockstar as they taste like fizzy pop, rather than that sickly, slightly medicinal thing other energy drinks have going on. I fill a drinks bottle with 2/3 energy drink, 1/3 water and a pinch of salt and sip it when I’m flagging to keep my energy and electrolyte levels up. One bottle usually lasts me two days.

July

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Best Cruelty-free All Round Moisturiser – Faith in Nature Coconut Body Lotion. I use this on my body and my face as it’s thin enough to sink in quickly without being oily.

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Best Accessory – I’ve looked at so many pins from various places this year. This Milk & Moon one was thoughtfully packaged and the gold and black theme looks classy rather than cartoonish, which is what I wanted.

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Best Book – Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor (YA Fiction) is the perfect blend of fantasy and every day, which escalates to serious proportions. Easy to read, with engaging characters and a plot which could lead literally anywhere.

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Best Funko Pop! – I have to go with The Cheshire Cat from (the modern) Alice in Wonderland. He’s so quirky-cute and makes me smile every time I notice him. Plus the fur and stripe detailing is really well done.

August

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Best Cruelty-free Skin Treatment – Murad Radiance Peel has transformed my skin from being dull, flakey and hopeless to being smooth, radiant and able to absorb moisturisers, serums and oils.

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Best Book I Would Recommend – I do love The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern but the first part of the book, before the two main characters even meet was hard going for me. However, I thought the rest was wonderful and utterly absorbing.

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Best Impromptu Selfie – I took this while I was waiting to get ready for a night out and liked it so much more than the one I took when I was ready! Check out my sexy owl PJ’s lol

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Best Alternative/Urban OOTD – I usually like to mix alt and urban style but I decided to go all out rock festival with this one for Summer.

September

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Best Surprising Food Combo – Edamame and Avocado. Followed closely drinking Tia Maria with seaweed/miso/Chinese flavoured food. Try it ^_^

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Best (Gluten Free) Larger – Peroni has always been my fave larger for how light and refreshing it is, and now they’ve started doing a gf one, which is just as good.

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Best Everyday Look – I love this outfit because it’s practical, flattering and represents the Gorton girl in me with the hoodie and big sparkly hoop earrings. I can also take my hoodie off and have a nice top underneath for evening.

October

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Best Place To Buy Lingerie/Nightwear – Boux Avenue make THE BEST bra’s. Pretty but comfortable and in a flattering range of styles and colours. Their night/lounge wear is also really lovely.

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Best Gluten Free Pizza – Pizza Express by a mile. They also have other great gf options and are very understanding of dietary requirements.

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Best High Street/Drug Store Cruelty-free Makeup – Well, Topshop makeup is new to me as I’d never used it before. Affordable, great colour payoff, easy to apply and stays put. I’m really impressed!

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Best Dairy Free Choccy – Sarelle is like a Fererro Rocher but with sweet dark chocolate, rather than milk. This is a decent sized choccy bar but it still isn’t big enough, ha!

November

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Best Cruelty-free Party Makeup – Barry M, Matte Me Up lip linner and lip paint. Metallic, yet oddly matte this is actually really wearable for anyone with an olive-dark skin tone. I think if you were paler, you would be making a much bigger statement with it.

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Best Fashion Trend – Apart from Rosegold – which I’ve always liked since I was a 13 year old looking at jewellery in the Argos catalogue – it has to be knitwear with subtle corset and grunge detailing, mainly fraying, large gaps in the crochet and random lacing.

December

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Best Veggie Sweets – Made with real fruit juice, these Organic Mini Fruit Bears by Biona are possibly the tastiest sweets I’ve ever tried. Everyone I know who’s tried them – loved them.

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Best Tech – Nokia 105. You can drop it, accidentally sit on it, play different versions of Snake on it, it’s a petty retro colour, it has a torch which is actually effective, it’s really light weight, no scally will want to rob it off you and you will only need to charge it twice in your life time. Bargain!

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Best Cruelty-free Lipbalm/Skin Saviour – I know that I could just buy a big cheap jar of coconut oil from the local market but Dr. Organic is organic (duh), contains an SPF 15 and is so handy to carry around. One of the very few things that makes any noticeable difference to my lips at all.

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Best Healthy Convenience Food – This veggie sushi from Tesco is as tasty as it is pretty.

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Best Homeware – I love the duck egg blue colour of this Tesco blanket and it is unbelievably soft! I live in it now – we are one.

Best Alternative/Independent High Street Shop – Aflecks, Tib Street/Oldham Street (established the year I was born – a fact which I love). This giant maze-like building s an Alladin’s cave of independent shops. I don’t know any other place where you will find quality fancy dress, vinyl records, American candy, vintage clothes, Japanese imports, band merchandise, a vegan shop, a cute cafe, a clothes embellishing and customising service, retro toys/collectibles, rave/rock/urban clothing, cruelty free makeup and hair dye, along with piercing, tattooing and hairdressing studio’s.

I hope you enjoyed my alternative 2017 awards!

Chrissie

Modern Fairytale, Fantasy & Graphic Novels I Recommend

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From Dead To Worse by Charlaine Harris – I’ve started reading The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris again which inspired the series True Blood. I realised that I hadn’t finished them (and I lost touch with the TV series as well). I find Harris’s writing style really easy to read and I love the main character Sookie as she is equally strong and vulnerable.

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey – I can’t wait to start reading this novel based on an old Russian fairytale about a child who appears out of the snow.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer – A contemporary fairy tail this time about a girl who happens to be an android, has a horrid family and who catches the eye of a prince. I’ll review it once I’ve finished it.

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman – The best YA fantasy/adventure books with a female protagonist ever written, in my opinion. I was so relieved the film version of The Golden Compass (Northern Lights, US) did justice to the original material.

The Crow by James O’barr – This was the first graphic novel I ever read and one of the most darkly romantic stories I’d come across also. This version has extra illustrations, poems and quotes. Edgar Allen Poe is included, unsurprisingly.

Sin City The Making Of by Frank Miller (and lots of other people) – I’ve dipped in and out of several of Millers Sin City graphic novels over the years and I’ve really enjoyed them. I found the second Sin City film utterly boring but I’m still a huge fan of this first one, it’s a real one-off classic! I’m also a big film geek so I find those ‘The Making Of…’ documentaries and books really interesting.

Chrissie

 

 

My Lifestyle Lately – July


Random Stuff

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I made a Geek Blogger Tag and no one joined in with it *whaaah!* :o(

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This is one of those books that is so well written, with a protagonist who’s so easy to like and a premise so interesting that you don’t want to finish reading it. You always want it there to dip into when you want something easy and familiar, like an old favourite TV show who’s repeats are always on some channel, somewhere. Sometimes I actually read quicker when I don’t like a book as I’m impatient to get rid of it, but I want to make this one last.

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I bought this from Topshop because it’s totally functional so I don’t spill my coffee and it’s refillable. Would I actually take it into Starbucks? No. Do I even frequent Starbucks? No.

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Very glad to see a fat furry bumble bee! He had a snack and flew off out the window again.

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It’s been torrential rain on and off for days. It’s ended the unbearable humidity which I am pleased about as I don’t feel faint anymore and my hair is frizz-hallo free.

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I’ve really gotten into gaming again with Metal Gear Solid V. I found the previous one to be very dark but this is much more entertaining. It’s the usual kind of open world RPG where you can roam around randomly or select missions. It also includes a hat shaped like a chickens head which you can wear if you want to be a metaphorical chicken and not have your enemies see you; A device which extracts enemies from the area by suspending them from a balloon and whooshing them away, including various animals which is equally cute and hilarious; Cheesy 80’s pop songs blasting out from your helicopter and an option to detach your robotic hand and send it scurrying around after your enemies.

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This is my new iridescent laptop case by Skinny Dip London. I love how the colour changes completely in different lights and from different angles. From silvery pastel shades to glowing sea green and hot pink. The creases in it show up quite a bit but that’s just the nature of the material so I’m sliding my laptop out and trying to keep the case as flat as poss.

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It’s always good to appreciate the everyday things so I wrote this.

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It’s my back yard, it’s so pretty and I can’t take any credit for it at all, ha! So glad my Dad likes plants and flowers.

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We went to Bundobust again for gluten free beer and Indian veggie street food. We both have old school Nokia phones so if we want a photo we need to use an actual camera or iPad but we were too busy scoffing our scran!

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For my cheat day one Friday I had a Mediterranean roasted veg and feta pizza and added some extra pesto and a little Gouda cheese. So good!

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I got another free-from food haul (from The Vegan Kind shop and Holland & Barrett) and I reviewed all of the products here.

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I’ve discovered more cheese flavoured dairy-free crisps which are so tasty and won’t have any ill effects on me.

Style

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I’ve continuing with the cute rocker chick combo – black tops, plaid skater skirt/kilt and black boots. Does anyone know where I can find a black mesh top with full long sleeves? I’ve had to give my old one to charity because it started feeling too coarse because my sensory issues have gotten more er, sensitive.

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I swapped the white laces for black as I thought they went better with my Hello Kitty Vans and added some lace jewels because, cute + black + sparkle + Vans = Awesome.

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Finished customising my leather jacket (or pleather? I can’t remember) with a gorgeous little ‘Up all night’ pin from Milk and Moon UK. I don’t get to sleep until between 1.00 – 2.00pm, plus this is my ‘going out out’ jacket for evening.

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I bought something by Disney. Normally I’m a Tim Burton, DC Comics, Studio Gibli type of fan girl but it was affordable, teal/turquoise and fantasy themed so it won me over. If anyone has any other quirky-cute Disney suggestions then please let me know.

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If Disney made fortune cookies. Seriously though, I genuinely found this in my fortune cookie xoD

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The Bloke, dyed my hair Cyan again. We made a joint decision to put it all over my hair this time to make it darker in general. I much prefer my hair dark to a sun lightened mid-brown. You can read my 12 Tips For Dying Hair Easily here.

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I put together a Pastel Goth outfit I was really pleased with. Although these boots are made for walking, symmetrically patterned tights are not – unless you want to faff about matching them up again every 15 minutes.

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I put this together for those people who still want to look glam on Summer evenings and not like they just walked off a beach in Cyprus. Plus as you can tell, I love shiny things!

Beauty and Skincare

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I reviewed Arbonne’s Calm range here and absolutely loved it along with their shampoo and conditioner. I reviewed their Advanced range and got a horrible allergic reaction from two of their products. I was asked astonishingly to amend my review by their client who insisted that my unbearable itchiness, glowing red skin and sudden burning temperature was just how the products work! Ah, no. I mean one of them was a night cream FFS!

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I reviewed these two lip colours by Soap & Glory with both positive and negative thoughts about them both. You can read it here.

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I reviewed this natural shampoo to tame frizz with surprising results. You can find it here.

Always lovely to read your comments as they are always lovely comments, ha! No, but even if they weren’t quite so lovely it’s still nice hear from you all.

Chrissie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Girl Missing by Sophie McKenzie (no spoilers)

Imagine if everything you new about your life turned out to be a lie. When Lauren starts to realise her adoptive parents aren’t telling her the truth she sets of on a journey to uncover secrets surrounding her adoption. However certain people will do anything to make sure those secrets stay buried.

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Girl Missing grabbed my attention from the start and held it until the end – not an easy feat. After I’d finished reading I realised and was tired, thirsty and hungry but because I’d been so absorbed in the plot I hadn’t even noticed! Perfect pacing and the right balance of dialogue and action, likeable but flawed characters and plot twists which aren’t obvious makes this one of the most enjoyable novels I’ve read.

Author Sophie McKenzie does a wonderful job of creating secondary characters that are three dimensional and relevant in their own right. Main character Lauren can be a little self absorbed and her friend Jam can run out on her at the worst moments but these are teenagers facing very difficult odds and they do realise their failings and admit there mistake. It’s because the characters are relatable and likeable that really drives this story along as well as the mystery and danger. I’ve read incredibly well constructed novels before but had to abandon them because I couldn’t tolerate the characters.

I highly recommend Girl Missing to both adults and teens and will certainly be passing this on to a few friends and my bloke to read.

This 10th Anniversary edition includes a deleted scene and a Q&A with McKenzie.

https://missingkids.com

Chrissie

Would You Rather…?

I came across this idea on My Blog Is My Boyfriend and asked to join in as I don’t get to ponder over books with people very often. I never seem to be reading the same one as my mates and I tend to read fairly slowly so my reading list is rather out of date! So please feel free to comment and join in yourself.

Would you rather only read trilogies or only read standalones?

I’d have to say standalones because trilogies can take a while to get going sometimes where as I enjoy the pacing of single novels. Plus if there is a character in there that is really annoying it’s just too frustrating reading about them yet again.

Would you rather only read male or female authors?

This is difficult to answer as writers have pen names which don’t necessarily match wether they are male or female and anyway, if they are a great writer it wouldn’t matter to me!

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Would you rather shop at Barnes and Noble or Amazon?

Ok I’m going to replace Barnes & Noble with Waterstones seeing I’m in the UK. I’d much rather keep physical book shops on the high street so Waterstones, as sadly most of the little independent book shops have gone out of business in Manchester.

Would you rather books were made into TV shows or movies?

If it were small-medium books then a film but bigger books would have to be a series to do them justice such as Game of Thrones. I’m picking TV series for bigger books so I don’t have to wait for the next film in the series to come out.

Would you rather read only five pages per day or five books per week?

Five pages per day. I simply couldn’t imaging managing to read five books a week even though I actually have the time!

Would you rather be a professional author or reviewer?

Reviewer. I couldn’t bear having to be creative with a deadline hanging over my head. I can only come up with interesting characters and snappy dialogue but I’m useless at plots. I really like reviewing books so watch out for more reviews in the future.

Would you rather be a librarian or a bookseller?

I would love to work in a comic book/graphic novel shop like Forbidden Planet. That’s the dream!

Would you rather read only your favorite genre, or every other genre but your favorite?

If I think of the fantasy genre as being incredibly varied i.e. The Night Circus and Little Big and not just about dragons and kingdoms etc. then I would have to say my favourite genre of fantasy, as reading a genre that didn’t interest me would be pure hell.

Would you rather only read ebooks or physical books?

Physical books because I don’t need to drag them around with me but if I commuted everyday my answer might be different.

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Here are the six blogs I’m nominating – it’s usually five but I didn’t know how to choose!

Super Space Chick

A few of My Favourite Things

Suzie81 Speaks

Booklexia

Mermaid Kisses

Teachez Well

To my nominees, please don’t feel any pressure to participate, I don’t mind at all if you choose not to.

Chrissie xx