29 July 2016

Book Review - The Life of Rylan


The Life of Rylan* - Rylan Clark-Neal
"Well hark at you, stumbling upon my autobiography. Bet you wouldn't have put money on that three years ago, eh?! Please don't stress yourself out too much though, it's actually socially acceptable nowadays that you're interested.
Firstly I'd like to emphasise that I have WRITTEN THIS BOOK MYSELF, so be assured you're getting the TOOTH, the WHOLE TOOTH and NOTHING BUT THE TOOTH! (Which was my original choice of title, but babe, we're so over that) This book documents my story, year by year, from my humble beginnings growing up in the East End of London, becoming one of the nation's most talked-about people overnight to finally moving up the spectrum from guilty pleasure, and getting nearer to national treasure. It will make you laugh, cry, and most importantly you'll discover who I really am. If it doesn't do any of those things you're not legally entitled to a refund - just clearing that up ;-). I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I have enjoyed writing it. This book has been like therapy, and LORD was I in need. Enjoy!"

Ah I love a good autobiography, don't you? I love that you never really know what to expect from them, even if you’re already a fan of the person.  I've read so many and sometimes my opinion on people has been totally flipped on its head of what I thought, in good ways and in bad.  I really like Rylan and was a bit worried reading this in case I felt different after and you know what I do, I feel totally different I went from liking him, always watching his shows and thinking he was really funny and now I love him and I'm pretty sure we should probably be BFF's for life, haha!

No but seriously, I enjoyed this book so much and felt like I came away with such a good understanding of who Rylan is, which to me is the whole point in reading a book from someone, right? It's a chance to sort of get inside their head and see how they see the world and what they think about their life rather than reading it through the eyes of journalists or magazines trying to guess what is going on.

The book is divided into chapters that go in chronological order in life events rather than age.  So it starts off him being young, then school, work, X factor etc rather than focus on his life at every single age.  I liked this and felt like so much of the important stuff was covered that you would want to read about from him.  The book ends in nearly present day, it ends around about when he got married so you really do feel like you get such an up to date view of his life.

One thing I really want to mention is the way it is written.  It says all over the book that Rylan wrote it himself.  Aside from the actual contents of the book I think this is one of my favourite things about it.  Like I've said I've read so many of these autobiographies over the years of so many different types of people and the difference when I read ones clearly written by the person is so remarkable and so much more enjoyable.  I feel like you can actually hear them saying the words, you know what I mean? It really blows my mind why everyone doesn't do this. I mean I get it, maybe they will not all be written like Shakespeare but isn't that the point? Isn’t that what makes these books so much more relatable and authentic, if they are written in a way that the person would talk to you in real life, in the way that they would convey a subject to you? Isn't that the point that you want to hear about their life, from them, in their own actual words?  I just want to give a massive shout out to Rylan for doing that and making his book honestly such a genuinely lovely read.

There were so many times reading this that I just thought to myself, me and Rylan would get on like an absolute house on fire.  Maybe it’s because we are similar in age, maybe it’s because people who grow up in the generation we did will always have similar interests but either way reading about his love for Big Brother and the Spice Girls and b*witched were just like big flashbacks to my own childhood.  I also was that person making up dance routines to Wannabe in the playground at School (FYI I was Baby Spice always, my name being Emma so I was a shoo-in) and staying up late at night to watch Craig win the first ever season on Big Brother. 

Every autobiography I read always teaches me something, whether it be something good or bad about the world or life and this one was no different.  I felt I came away having my faith in fate strengthened.  Reading about Rylan's life and all that he has went through, the ups and downs and seeing where he is now, it’s unavoidable when reading his book to not notice how many things in his life just seemed to be destined to happen.  I won't put any spoilers but it really is just so beautiful when you read it and realise that what's really genuinely for you will not go by you if it’s meant to be in your life and that  is what I took away from this book so thank you Rylan for reminding me of that just when I needed it!

It's a bit different doing reviews of autobiographies on here because at the end of the day if you’re not a fan of Rylan then you won't like this book but if you are and like me are always giggling at him on BBBOTS or This Morning then I really think you will so enjoy this book.  If like me you have watched Big Brother every year and you always root for the good guy/girl to win and always want the kind ones to win over the well the not so kind ones then this really is a story of the good guy winning and sometimes there is just nothing nicer to read than that....

You can buy Rylan's book on Wordery and get free delivery too.

28 July 2016

OPI Soft Shades Nail Polish Review


As soon as I saw these new pastel shades from OPI I knew I needed them in my life.  I got them for my birthday back in May and have been trying them out ever since.
I am a hardcore Nails Inc fan, its my all time favourite nail polish brand.  I love everything about it, the colours, quality, finish and to be honest nothing I have tried apart from Chanel nail polish which I also thinks amazing, has ever come near to the Nails Inc quality in my eyes.

I have tried a few OPI nail colours in the past and really didn't like them, I was so shocked at how badly the colours went on the nail but I put it down to maybe the type of colours I tried as I know sooo many people are obsessed by the brand, so I went ahead and tried these shades.

So long story short, love the colours, hate the polish.  I am not about putting bad reviews up on my blog but I always want to be honest so that's why I'm sharing my opion about these shades with you guys.

I can not for the life of me work out what I'm missing about OPI.  The quality of these are the exact same as the other OPI shades I've tried.  I have to put 3 coats of colour on, yes 3 coats, to get the slightest even colour and  then as you can see in the above pictures, still at my cuticle the colour is sort of see-through. its just thin and super watery.

I got the mini bottles as I wanted to try the colour out before I committed to the full size bottle and I 100% will not be repurchasing the larger size which is a shame as some of the colours are nice but its honestly not worth the hassle of what you have to go through to get a colour pay-off and definitely not worth the price in my eyes.

I just find the whole experience of using them so un-enjoyable and time consuming and I'm never happy with the result.

A massive plus point though is the wear time. I used my special routine that I wrote about HERE, every time I wore it though so I don't know how much of it is that and how much of it is the nail polish but in both these photos above I have had the polish on for around two weeks and as you can see it's stayed on amazingly well.

The colours really are pretty.  I love the off white shade which I'm wearing in the last picture and the baby blue is just stunning as well which you can see me wearing on my instagram

The colours you get in the pack are-
-It's in the clouds (I'm wearing it in the last photo)
-Stop it I'm blushing! (I'm wearing this in the second last picture, its actually a sort of peach rather than pink. Its nice but a bit blah for me)
- It's a boy (A beautiful baby blue shade)
-This cost me a mint (Green)

I know so many people love OPI  so I know I will be in the really small minority of people who haven't got on well with it.  But if your looking for a some pretty pastel shades and you like OPI then definitely give these a go. If your looking for no fuss, no hassle nail polish then I would steer well clear. 

You can buy this from Nail Polish Direct for £9.95.  They actually have a big sale on that whole range so its worth taking a peek if your a fan of the shades.  I have bought from this site a handful of times in the past few months and I'm super impressed with it. Really good prices too. (FYI not a sponsored post or anything like that,I bought everything with my own money. I just wanted to recommend it to you in case you love nail polish as much as me haha)

25 July 2016

Interview with Author Bella Osborne


Willow Cottage - Sunshine and Secrets* by Bella Osborne
"Beth is running away. With her young son Leo to protect, Willow Cottage is the lifeline she so desperately needs. Overlooking the village green in a beautiful Cotswolds idyll, Beth sees a safe place for little Leo.
When she finally uncovers the cottage from underneath the boughs of a weeping willow tree, Beth realises this is far more of a project than she bargained for and the locals are more than a little eccentric! A chance encounter with gruff Jack, who appears to be the only male in the village under thirty, leaves the two of them at odds but it’s not long before Beth realises that Jack has hidden talents that could help her repair more than just Willow Cottage.
Over the course of four seasons, Beth realises that broken hearts can be mended, and sometimes love can be right under your nose…"

I am super happy today to have an interview with the really awesome author Bella Osborne.  Her new book is such a lovely read that is just great for these lovely sunny days we have been having lately.
I hope you really enjoy the interview and you can buy the book from Amazon now.

1.  I loved this story; it was just so charming and sweet.  For anyone who hasn’t read the book yet, can you tell us a little bit about it?
Firstly, many thanks, Emma, for having me on your blog today.
At the core of the story is the friendship between Beth and Carly and the story interchanges between the two of them.
Beth and her young son are running away and find themselves in a beautiful Cotswold’s village miles from London and everything that is familiar to them.  When she finally uncovers the cottage, which she bought on a whim, from underneath the boughs of a weeping willow tree Beth realises this is far more of a project than she bargained for. The locals are more than a little eccentric and Beth’s first encounter with Jack, who appears to be the only male under thirty, doesn’t go well.
Carly is desperate to have her fairy-tale wedding but as Fergus is busy gaming and quite happy with how things are she has more than a challenge on her hands. 
As both women face more difficulties they both have to fight for what really matters.

2.  What was the inspiration behind the book, have you ever done any DIY cottage makeovers?
My publishers were keen to build on the success of my first book ‘It Started At Sunset Cottage’ but this time they wanted the cottage to be the main focus of the story.
I’ve not been lucky enough to live in an old property like Willow Cottage but I did once buy a repossession, which was a bargain but needed a lot of work so I’ve done my fair share of DIY!

3.  The book features an array of eccentric characters that I think bring so much humour to the story, who was your favourite character to write?
That is so hard to answer – it’s akin to asking which of your children do you love the most!
Fergus and Shirley are probably the characters that surprised me. They are secondary characters so their back stories were not as well defined when I started writing. They both quickly developed and presented me with fascinating histories that I was only too pleased to write into the story.

4.  The book is coming out in four short instalments.  Can you tell us what the other three books will be called and when they will be released?
Following Part One ‘Sunshine and Secrets’ we have Part Two ‘Christmas Cheer’ on 20th October.
Part Three ‘A Spring Awakening’ will be available 2nd March 2017 with the final instalment, Part Four ‘Summer Delights’ out on 4th May 2017.
The full paperback that pulls it all together into one book is also out in May 2017.

5.  You have chosen to publish this book in a really new and exciting way, was that something you have always wanted to do rather than a traditional format for all your books?
It was something that my publisher suggested as an approach they would like to try with me and that they had seen work well for other authors. It sounded exciting so I was more than willing to give it go.

6.  The four instalments of your book will only be available in an eBook format to begin with.  I know a lot of authors are still wary of what eBooks mean for them. Do you feel it’s a format that you really want to embrace?
Absolutely. I was originally signed by Harper Impulse, which is a digital first imprint of HarperCollins, so without eBooks I would not have been published. It is an excellent way for publishers to take on new writers without the high costs of traditional publishing.
Also in a day and age where we want instant gratification the ability to quickly download a story to your eReader and immediately start reading it is so convenient for busy people – me included!

7.  For anyone out there reading this who would love to become a published author, what would your advice for them be?
Make time to write. If you really want to write, then something else has to give; be it social media, the latest addictive game on your mobile, television, sleep or the cleaning – trust me in a year’s time you won’t regret not having done those things but you will regret not having found time to write.
Seek out other writers. I can’t explain how brilliant it feels to be around other writers. I would recommend joining groups, courses and the myriad of genre writing associations. I joined the Romantic Novelists Association on their New Writer’s Scheme and I have learned so much from their events, met some amazing writers and made some terrific friends.

20 July 2016

Changing To a Plant Based Diet...

So I’m not a big sharer, not in a you can’t have my sweets way I’ve always been pretty on point with that but in a personal life way.  I’m not the best at this in real life with people I don’t know, so in my online life I’ve been even worse. I’m naturally a really shy person so I always feel super hesitant to put any of myself out there on my blog.  It’s not that I don’t want to its just that it doesn’t come that natural to me I guess.

I’ve tried so many times on my blog to put into words more personal posts but I always end up deleting them as I can never get them to sound just right.

But I decided this year for my blog I wanted to try harder at this.  I’m not gonna lie I’m still not going to be that TMI girl over here but hopefully with the new posts that I’m going to start sharing you will feel like you can all get to know me a little bit better.  I want to make the lifestyle section of my blog bigger and better and start writing some posts on some things that I love and that will hopefully help you learn a bit more about me too.

One of the biggest aspects of my life over the last few years that I guess I haven’t even really mentioned on here is that I have completely overhauled and changed my lifestyle and diet and I thought that would be the best place to start with these new posts. This is probably the thing that I’m the worst at talking about or putting into words, so why not go in head first right? Haha!

Around three years ago I started to look into plant based diets.  It is the longest story of how I ended up getting to that point (maybe another one of these posts on that soon if you’re interested?) but long story short because of my health I decided to look into changing my diet to this way of living and see if it might be able to  help with my symptoms that I was experiencing and maybe it would be able to help me feel all around better.

The biggest problem for me was that I had no interest or knowledge in food, like zero.  I ate the plainest, simplest food and put no thought into it.  I just didn’t care.  I have never been a ‘foodie’ it just never interested me, food shows on TV bored me and if anyone cooked me a fancy meal I would always rather a plate of chips or a pizza.  I never ate terrible, my diet was probably as average as it comes, just boring and normal I guess.

So once I started to look into a plant based diet it was like a light bulb moment for me, I felt like finally this was the thing that would help my body and I hoped so much that this would leave me clear of all the health troubles I had been having (again I’ll cover all that in another post if you guys want so you can get the full picture) it felt like this real big light of hope that I would finally feel better and I knew there and then that I would have to tackle this head on. 

So what I decided was to just learn, learn and then learn even more.  I had to basically teach myself about my health, my food and how this way of life could quite possibly change mine.

I wanted to start off with this post as I never wanted to talk about any of this before on here because I wanted to give myself a while to settle in to this way of eating before showing and telling you guys about it.  I feel like even though everyday is a learning curve I think that I have some fun things that I can share with you all who are maybe going through a similar lifestyle change.

 The biggest reason why I wanted to share my story and 'journey' to steal X factor's favourite phrase, is because if your considering changing your diet to plant based for health reasons or any other reason I guess and you feel like that mountain is too hard to climb I want to tell you that if I, someone with genuinely no knowledge what so ever of food and cooking can manage to learn what I’ve leant and educate myself on this way of living then anyone that wants  to do it, can.

I want to take you all along with me on my plant based eating life and show you the things I’ve learned, any advice I can pass on and my favourite things to eat.

Look at these posts as a sort of beginners guide to plant based eating if you will; I will cover the basics and be brutally honest about the whole thing.  I think that’s what I found the hardest when I started trying to find out information about changing my diet.  So many people made it seem like a dream and the easiest thing to do in the world which made me feel like I must have been the only one that that was like ‘this is a pretty damn hard change’ haha! So I want to share with you my real life experiences of cutting out gluten, wheat, diary, meat, refined sugar and as much overly processed food as possible. Gosh doesn’t that sound like it will be a laugh a minute haha, I’m joking, I’m joking its way better than it sounds I promise.
I hope you all enjoy this post and have liked reading something a little bit different on here too!


18 July 2016

Book Review - The Creative Workplace


The Creative Workplace*
"In the creative industries of graphic design, architecture, advertising and digital media, your workspace is a huge statement. It needs to inspire your team, excite clients and firmly cement your aesthetic. 'The Creative Workplace' opens the doors to studios around the world and asks creative people what their workplaces say about them. With brave architectural statements, airy minimalist lofts, and quirky personal touches."

This is one of those books that just even feels nice, you know? Like the hardcover has that sort of luxe texture to it and the pages have that beautiful thick paper feel to them.  The contrasting yellow and turquoise colour that has been used on the front, back and binding is just stunning.  I am all about pretty books and when its a visual coffee table book your buying I think its just perfect that it looks striking and super inviting to read.

As you know if you've read my blog for a while I am the biggest lover of a coffee table book.  I think not only are they normally always classic forever purchases that you cherish and re-read over and over again but I think they also make for the most thoughtful gifts.  Because of my love for books like this I have been gifted so many for birthdays, Christmas etc and I always feel like they are such personal and special gifts that you are able to keep and remember for a long time.

I love home interiors and decorating so if your anything like me then you will just adore this book.  It is a collection of offices and work spaces from around the world.  It is just endlessly inspiring.  I have already marked pages (with a post-it note FYI I don't actually write on my beautiful books haha) with bits that I want to try and use in my own working space.

Each working space comes with a small description and note on where the working space is from and what inspired them to decorate it like that which I loved too.

I really love reading and viewing how other people decorate their space and if your anything like me you probably have a pinterest board dedicated to office spaces so I'm sure you will love this as much as I do.

This is a beautiful book and I really do think it would make a great present for anyone who is also interested in interiors especially quirky ones.

This is another coffee-table book that is going straight into my collection.

You can buy the book on Wordery and get free delivery on your order too and you can also buy it on ROADS website. 
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