Twilight - Love it or hate it?

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Hey Guys,

It's time to talk about twilight. I will be the first to admit that I am a big fan and the thought of a new book for the 10th anniversary was very exciting. However, not as exciting as it would have been if it had been the long awaited Midnight Sun coming out!

For those of you who haven't read Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, here is a quick recap. Bella Swan is moving to Forks, one of the rainiest towns of the USA, to live with her Dad. She is prepared to hate it and suffer through two years before she can break away and go to university. Everything changes when she meets Edward Cullen, the most handsome boy she has ever laid eyes on. Predictably, they fall in love, but instead of normal teenage obstacles like disapproving parents etc, at the root of their problems is the fact that he is a vampire and has been seventeen years old for nearly a hundred years. In this book we briefly meet Jacob Black, a member of the Quileute tribe, who will become Bella's best friend as the series goes on. The Quileutes are traditionally suspicious of the Cullens and it is Jake who first tells reveals to Bella that Edward may be a vampire, though at the time he does not believe the tribe legends. As the plot advances Bella and Edward struggle through and beat the odds, that's how you know it's true love! And that is as much as I can say without spoiling the story too much...  (If you want to me to review the other books and talk more about the Bella-Edward-Jacob love triangle in another post let me know in the comments below)

I was equal parts excited and nervous to read Life and Death. There has long been a certain stigma around Twilight because Bella is portrayed as weak and in need of being rescued by Edward as a big strong man. The author denies Bella's status as a perpetual damsel in distress and argues that she is only weak because she is a human in a world full of supernatural, excessively strong characters, mostly male by the way. To prove this point Meyer re-wrote Twilight as Life and Death.

Life and Death follows Edythe and Beau through the same story as Edward and Bella, but with a massive twist! Almost all the character's genders in the story have been changed, pretty much the only exceptions to this were Charlie and Renee (Bella/Beau's parents). At first I was a bit sceptical, especially with some of the names which sound comical after the original ones, but then I forgot all about Bella and Edward. I fell completely in love with this book all over again! I was not expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. Reading it from Beau's point of view was a very interesting experience, being a guy he responded differently to Bella when put in the same situations and I found the strong female character of Edythe to be quite refreshing. I grew to love these characters in their own right and found the added Taylor and the prom drama hilarious. Without giving too much away, be prepared for a big twist in the ending! I feel that even if the ending had been the same, the characters themselves would have made this book it's own entity, however, the altered ending gave it a very "what if" feel and only added to the magic of an already thrilling love story. A definite page turner! 

Have any of you guys read it? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below :-) 


Evening Skin Care Routine

Wednesday, 7 October 2015


As the weather gets colder it becomes increasingly important to take good care of your skin. I always like to look after my skin, but in the wintry months I definitely up my game. A good routine helps keep your skin clear, smooth and protected from dry patches that have a tendency to occur during this season!

In the evenings before I go to bed I take a bit of time to give my face a bit tlc! I first take off my eye makeup with Nivea's Sensitive Cleansing wipes, I also use these to take off any eyebrow pencil and fixative. I have quite sensitive eyes and any other products just make them sore. Afterwards I use some of the Nivea Daily Essentials Sensitive 3 in 1 Micellar Cleansing Water on round cotton pads to remove my foundation, powder and blusher. I then coat my face with a thin layer of Nivea Daily Essentials 2 in 1 Cleanser and Toner to remove any remaining make up from my face with some more small round cotton pads.

 I use the My Little Beauty Brume Energisante Visage et Corps to spray onto my face. I discovered this brand through a friend who persuaded me last year to subscribe to the My Little Box monthly beauty and lifestyle box. They are a French company which creates a box with a different theme each month with a variety of goodies and a product from their own My Little Beauty brand. They provide a lovely monthly surprise and are well worth the money for the quality and diversity of branded products in the box, they are also good for discovering new smaller brands! I have to say I absolutely adore their own products, so please check out their boxes here.

When I have let the energising mist settle I splash my face with cold water and pat dry with a hand towel. I use two moisturisers, one for under my eyes and one for my general face. For my under my eyes I take a minuscule amount of the Estee Lauder Time Zone Eye Cream and dab it under my eyes. Finally, I rub Nivea Daily Essentials Sensitive Day Cream into the rest of the skin on my face.

I know it seems like I really love Nivea, but it's true I do. I find that their products leave my skin feeling clean and nourished! The My Little Beauty mist is a nice citrus scent that makes me feel fresh and helps my skin feel more vibrant, I definitely notice a difference when I don't use it.

I hope this routine was helpful and inspired you to nourish your skin through the harsher weather. Let me know in your comments below what products you use! :-)


Review - Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Hello everyone,

I have finished reading Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. Oh my God, I could not put this book down, I read it across two days and loved it. The blurb reads:

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of peculiar photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar children. As Jacob explores its decaying bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that Miss Peregrine's children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow - impossible though it seems - they may still be alive. 

I originally saw this book in the horror section of my local book shop and picked it up because the cover art was so intriguing. I then realised it was actually a photograph, one of many that feature in the book. I am so glad I picked it up!

Jacob is a sixteen-year-old boy bored of his mundane life in America with a head full of fantastic stories of magical children and gruesome monsters. He believes these are stories made up by his Grandfather to entertain a child and detract from the real horror of the Nazis...How wrong could he be? All the stories his Grandfather told him are true, but he only begins to realise this after the brutal murder of his Grandfather. His dying words about the island of his childhood haunt Jacob and spark off his journey to find answers, turns out he finds more answers than he wanted. He stumbles across more photos of the peculiar children and they lead him to the children themselves. Children that haven't aged in decades, children running from a terror...

This book has everything, spectacular narrative from Jacob, a thrilling story line, love lost and terrifying monsters. To add to the draw of this story are the chilling black and white photographs dappled throughout the book. 

My only slight nit pick is that this book was in the horror section and I picked it up expecting a chilling ghost story, but it turned out to be less scary and more fantasy! So I would give it 4.5 stars. It does, however, have the potential to become a scary story in the next books. Much to my delight on reaching the end I found out that it is from a series and I will most definitely be picking up the next one soon! 

Have any of you read this book? Let me know in the comments below :-) 


October Reading List

Monday, 5 October 2015

Hi guys, 

I thought I would do a quick post about my October tbr (to be read list). This month I am joining my best friend in a #petrifyingprose challenge by only reading spooky books! I am so excited about this, I have always loved scaring myself silly with books and movies, and what better time to do this than in the run up to Halloween?! 

I will be attempting to read quite a few books, so in no particular order here they are: 

- Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith 
- Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett
- Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett
- The Rook by Daniel O'Malley 
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
- Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
- Slasher Girls and Monster Boys by April Tucholke Genevieve

I know this is a very ambitious list, but I will do my best. Expect some reviews soon! What are you reading for Halloween? Let me know in the comments below :-) Follow me on Instagram @gingersnaphattie for photos of my spooky reads! 


Go To Autumn Lipsticks

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Now that the autumn is officially here I can crack out my favourite autumnal lipsticks. Although it is sad that I am putting away my summer pinky nudes and corals, I am really excited for the berry tones and bold reds! 

My two favourite colours for autumn are red and purple, though I tend to lean more towards red at the end of autumn closer to the Christmas season. 

I adore this deep purple berry tone from Mac in satin Media A24, it is quite a matte colour and has fantastic colour payoff and staying power. If I put this on in the morning it will still be there in the evening no matter what I drink or eat, it only fades to a lighter purple, which I actually quite like. The only slight issue I have with this is that I won’t wear it everyday as it dries out my lips quite a bit, but that could just be because I am prone to dry lips this time of year…

Which is all the more reason to whip out the tinted lip balm! Benebalm is my go to for this time of year, it leaves a lovely glossy sheen to the lips and a faint red tint, it is less intense than the original Bene Tint from Benefit, but I love it for a day time look in the autumn. It is a great muted colour for university and leaves my lips soft and smooth. 

I have another favourite from Benefit and this is this wonderful Nice Knickers plum lipstick from an old range of theirs. I use this one sparingly as it is a discontinued line! Which is such a shame because it is a fabulously creamy lipstick with amazing colour payoff, however, it doesn’t have the best staying power from the creaminess. 

For reds I have two favourites for autumn and those are more from high street brands. The first is this lovely post box red from the Rimmel Kate Moss collection for Comic Relief in Red Nose Red 01. I picked this up last winter and I absolutely love it. The staying power isn’t as good, but the colour is so rich and deep that it makes up for it! 

The second is another red, but less deep and more vibrant than the Rimmel one. This one is L’Oreal color riche 297 in Red Passion and I actually prefer to apply it lightly with my finger, it gives a more relaxed feel to the red lipped classic look. I love to pair my red lipsticks with a tartan scarf, jeans, black suede boots and leather jacket. 
What are your favourite autumn lipsticks? Let me know in the comments below! 


The Cottage Loaf

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Hello everyone,

This morning I drove over to Llandudno in North Wales to see my Uncle and my Grandparents. For lunch we went to a lovely little pub called The Cottage Loaf. I have been there several times before with family and their food is delicious every time! 

Time for a bit of history, skip this bit if it’s not your thing! The Cottage Loaf has been a well loved pub since 1981 after it’s conversion from a local bakery. Parts of the pub are made from the masts and booms of a schooner called the Flying Foam which was ship-wrecked off the coast of Llandudno in 1936. The inside of the pub has a lovely homely atmosphere, aided by the stone floor, which actually came from Liverpool. Parts of the pub have been salvaged from all over, giving it a very eclectic feel. On entering the pub you can see the original bakery oven doors at the front of the bar and the mast of the Flying Foam, with a copper strip around it. When the Levi Jeans factory closed down in Liverpool the wooden flooring was recycled by the pub to be used in the upper bar area and the roof slates are from the Royal Liverpool Hospital. To top it all off the bar surface is constructed from two pieces of the vessel’s decking  joined together. 

Now for the food! This time I decided to have something lighter than my usual “Pint of Fish”. I had a very greek style of lunch, with some lovely fluffy ciabatta to dip in olive oil and sharp balsamic vinegar. Along side there was a ramekin filled with marinated green olives, sweet sun-dried tomatoes and tangy feta cheese. I adore greek food and this was such a lovely lunch, we were fortunate with the weather and were able to sit outside in the sun on the pub front terrace :-) 

The atmosphere in the pub is warm and friendly and the food is consistently wonderful, for a family pub lunch or even as a quick stop for a light snack I would give this place 5 stars! 
Let me know in the comments your favourite places for family lunches!


Banned Books Week

Friday, 2 October 2015

Hello everyone,

I don't know how many of you know this, but it is actually Banned Books Week! Going back through history so many fantastic books have been banned or challenged in different countries, states and schools...this is such a sad phenomenon, I feel that books shouldn't be banned completely. Yes, some books should be censored until they are age appropriate, but totally vetoing them is quite a drastic option.

A lot of people think that banning books is a historical action and doesn't still happen today, but it does. Every year books are challenged or banned. Harry Potter is one of the most frequently challenged books as it is seen to glorify magic and deception, which goes against strong religious principles. In China Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland was banned due to the anthropomorphising of animals, giving animals voices and placing them on the same plane of intelligence as people.

It is such a shame that people miss out on wonderful writers and stories, we should live in a free society where we can read whatever we like and form our own opinions. To be honest, seeing a list of banned books just makes me want to read them more. It is often said that the best way to make sure as many people as possible read something is to ban it!

In honour of this I have been reading a collection of poems by Lord Byron selected by Paul Muldoon. It is a stunning collection with some of the longer poems like Beppo, Don Juan and The Vision of Judgement interspersed with some of his shorter works. I thought Byron was the perfect author to read this week, his notorious personal life and ground breaking poems, in their time of course, have been constantly challenged and banned!

What have you all been reading for Banned Books Week? Let me know in the comments below :-)



Thursday, 1 October 2015

Hello everyone,

To celebrate the month of October, one of my favourites because of Halloween, I have decided to do a writing challenge. For every day of the month of October I will be writing a blog post for you! Let me know in the comments if you want me to cover any particular topics :-)

I am also doing a bit of a spooky challenge with my reading list. My best friend and I have created the #petrifyingprose under which we will only be reading spooky stories with ghosts, witches, vampires, monsters, zombies and magic this month! For anyone who wants to join this, follow me on Instagram @gingersnaphattie and tag me in your spooky book pictures. Enjoy!

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