29 August 2013

Review - Diary Of A Mall Girl by Luisa Plaja


Author: Luisa Plaja
Publisher: Curious Fox 
Published: March 15th 2013
Pages: 269 approx.
Source: For review*
Genre: Chick Lit, Contemporary, YA

The mall is the heart of the fifteen-year-old Molly's suburban town. Most teens hang around with friends there, get their first job there, and experience their first kiss there. And Molly? She actually lives there, in the complex's residential wing, where she navigates the dramas of teenage life, falling out with her friends and falling for the dark, mysterious boy-next-door.

But is living in a massive shopping centre as much fun as it sounds? Well, yes... and no. Find out the whole truth in Molly's private diary!


This was my third read by Luisa Plaja so I knew what to expect as far as writing style and character building - effortless, easy-to-read writing and well-developed characters - and I'm very happy to say that those expectations were met. Diary Of A Mall Girl was a fun, light read and a lovely break from the slightly heavier books I normally read. I sped through it and had a great time reading about the disaster that was Molly's life. :P The plot was simple yet effective as it was basically a diary written by a very dramatic teenager. We got to hear about the mortifying situations Molly was always getting herself into and how she was convinced that her life was over. We've all been there so reading about Molly's thoughts, feelings and actions was hilarious and pretty relatable. 

Molly was a wonderful mixture of scatty, infuriating, hilarious and lovable. She is 15 in the book yet her melodramatic nature made her seem much younger. The things she wrote in her diary are probably things we have all thought at some point, suggesting that we're all pretty immature and naive deep down. I initially thought she was 12 when I started reading so hearing that she was only a year younger than me was surprising! I didn't mind her immaturity at all though; it added to the book. ^_^ My favourite character was (one of) Molly's love interests: Jaspar. He was mysterious and very awkward in most situations making him endearing and completely lovable. The other characters were all quite irritating mainly because they were all so terrible to Molly! Her 'best friends' were horrible and incredibly immature, and her 'crush', Liam, kept mucking her about. I think the other people in Molly's life really added to the drama though, making the book even funnier, so I won't complain. :P 

Despite the little parts that annoyed me as I read, Diary Of A Mall Girl was a very enjoyable book and was written brilliantly (as always). I would recommend it to slightly younger readers, maybe about 11 - 14 year olds, as I think I was a little too old to fully enjoy it. It's a great book of you want a break from heavier novels and was a joy to read. ^_^ I'll give it 3.5 out of 5

Thank you Curious Fox for very kindly giving me this book to review! My review is 100% honest and my opinions were in no way affected. 

Lots of love, Cat
xxx
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25 August 2013

Wrapping It All Up

You may remember a certain post that popped up about three weeks ago called The Summer Reading Smackdown...It was about a summer reading challenge that myself and Charli were hosting, with a set of awesome challenges and a two week deadline. We had amazing feedback for the SRS Challenge with 7 of you guys signing up and I've been reading your reviews that you've been tweeting us with over the past fortnight. Thank you so much to everyone who took part in the challenge; it was a lot of fun to host and I think (and hope) that you all liked taking part! ^_^ 

I'm going to hold my hands up and be completely honest with you here; I didn't finish the SRS challenge... When we were planning it we didn't take into account that Scottish schools were going back during the challenge so, unfortunately, I didn't manage to read very much at all around school-time. This is ridiculous but I only finished one book during the challenge: Diary Of A Mall Girl by Luisa Plaja (review up soon!). I'm really sorry that I was so terrible at the SRS Challenge, you all did much better than me! 

Now on to the lovely participants: Charli from To Another World (co-host)
                                                    Holly from A DayDreamers Thoughts
                                                    Sophie from A Day Dreamer's World
                                                    Abbie, previously from Abigail's Wonderland
                                                    Milly from Miyyi
                                                    Gjam from Just Gjam
                                                    Megan from The Book Addicted Girl
                                                    Amy from Amy BookWorm

Thank you so much to everyone who took part in the Summer Reading Smackdown! :D I only know of two people who completed the challenge but please let me know if you completed it and I didn't mention you. The people who defeated The Summer Reading Smackdown are.........

Holly from A DayDreamers Thoughts and Amy from Amy BookWorm

Well done to Holly, Amy and everyone who took part. I had a great time hosting this with Charli! 
Lots of love, Cat
xxx

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18 August 2013

My 16th Burfday

Burfday is definitely a word.
 
On the 8th of August I turned 16! I had an amazing day with my family and got some lovely birthday messages from you guys on twitter and in the comments. Thank you so much to anyone who sent me birthday messages; it made my day. :) My party was on the 6th so I got to spend time with my friends before my birthday. The party was awesome and I'm incredibly grateful for having such great friends. I posted about the party here. 

I've had a few requests for a birthday haul showing what I got for my 16th but I was quite reluctant to do it at first because I'm scared that it'll come across as me showing off. After a bit of thought I decided to do a birthday haul anyway and hopefully you'll all understand that this really isn't me trying to show off; I'm unbelievably grateful for how lovely my friends and family are. ^_^

My main present from my mum and dad was a beautiful new ukulele! I've been playing for about 10 months using a dark pink soprano uke (he's called Gus...) and I love him to pieces but I thought it'd be nice to have a choice. My dad took me to a local music shop on the 6th and I tried a few ukuleles out before choosing a concert uke in a really light wood; I think it might be maple.  I'm so happy with my new uke! It sounds amazing and very rich, and it's easy to play. I named him Finn, after Cory Monteith's character on Glee. I was thinking about naming it Monteith in memory of him but Finn suited better. Another lovely present from my mum and dad was a new perfume that I picked out on my birthday; Moschino Pink Bouquet. I got the smallest size because I never use up a perfume anyway so the bottle is adorable. The perfume smells of very very sweet apples and is absolutely gorgeous. I love sweet perfumes so it suits me perfectly. :D My sister treated me to a new MAC lipstick; Lady Danger. It's an amazing orangey red colour with a long-lasting, matte finish. I've been wearing it pretty much every day since I got it and I can see it being an all-time favourite. :)

My friends were far too nice to me and got me the most thoughtful presents ever. :') I wanted to include them all but as they were too generous I thought it would make the post too long so I picked out a few to talk about. They gave me: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell, Divergent by Veronica Roth, a beautiful coral and grey scarf, a pastel bead necklace and a gold peter-pan collar necklace. I've wanted to read Attachments and Divergent for a very long time and I finally own them! I can't wait to give them a shot - tell me in the comments if you've read them. You probably know that I have a slight obsession with collars and peter-pan collar necklaces so this necklace was such a thoughtful present and I've been wearing it a lot since I got it. It's so shiny and beautiful. :D The scarf has paisley on it and is two of my favourite colours so it was practically made for me, and the beaded necklace is so pretty and goes with most of my clothes. My friends are the best. ^__^ 

I hope you all have amazing birthdays whenever they may be :D
Lots of love, Cat
xxx
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17 August 2013

The Lipstick Tag

I was tagged by the lovely Jean from 'Oberjean' to do the Lipstick Tag; a tag all about lip products! This tag was practically made for me...I love lip products most out of all make-up products, and have built up quite a collection over the years. This is gonna be a good 'un. :D


How many lipsticks do you own?
A lot...O_o 24 lipsticks, 5 lipglosses, 2 stains and 6 tinted lipbalms. I think I may have a slight problem.

What was your first ever lipstick?
I have absolutely no idea. When I was little I used to get those tiny little lipsticks in pretend make-up kits so I guess they were my first ever lipsticks. As far as the oldest one I own, it's probably The Natural Collection's Berry Sorbet; a medium bricky red. 

What is your most worn lipstick?
I'd say it's a tie between MUA shade 4, NYC Airkiss and Kate Moss for Rimmel in 06. I wear the Kate Moss one the most right now (apart from a new MAC one) but I've worn the other two an awful lot in the past. :)

What is your favourite brand for lipstick?
Probably MAC...I only own two MAC lipsticks but they are absolutely gorgeous. I really like the Rimmel Kate Moss ones though; the formula is great and shade 06 is amazing. ^_^

What is your favourite finish?
Matte. No competition. :P I really don't like glossy finishes and I stay away from any shimmer. Matte all the way, haha!

What was the last lip product you bought?
Maybelline's Baby Lips in Cherry Me, Pink Punch and Intensive Care. I bought them about a week ago and I've been using them non-stop since. They were definitely worth the wait. :D

How many lip products do you currently have in your handbag? (Including balms and glosses)
Oh god...I actually cleared my bag out the other day so there's only two in there at the moment, but I usually have about 4...I keep two in my school bag as well.

What lipstick do you use to rock a red lip?
MAC's Lady Danger! My sister bought this as my birthday present this year and I've been in love with it since. It's the most gorgeous orangey red and lasts for hours because of the amazing matte finish.

How do you store your lipsticks?
I keep my lipsticks upright in a green box so they can stand up, making it easier to get the colour I want and my lipglosses/pencils/crayons stay in cat mug. ^__^

What lip products are you currently lusting after?
I'd love to get the other 3 Baby Lips shades and I've heard great things about Rimmel lipsticks so I'd like to give them a try. 


I'm not going to tag specific people but if you'd like to do this feel free to say I tagged you. :) 
Lots of love, Cat
xxx
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16 August 2013

Teeny Tiny Haul (HMV, Accessorize & New Look)


I did a little bit of last-minute school uniform shopping yesterday in preparation for my first day back today. Normally it wouldn't be left this late but for some reason I just fell behind this year and failed to get a bag until the day before I go back. Ain't that just great? ;P Yesterday I went out for a couple hours with my mum to get my school bag and while I was there I did a little bit of shopping for myself. I love everything I got so I thought it'd be nice to show you. ^_^

After a bit of searching I found the perfect bag for school in Accessorize. I wanted a kind of satchel in a neutral colour that could fit all of my school work, so I was really happy when I found this one for £32. It's not the cheapest but I've had a few bags from Accessorize before and they are amazing quality. My school bag a couple of years ago was from there and I loved it so I knew this one was worth the money. :) 

I'm not the biggest shoe-fan ever - I can't stand shoe shopping, I can't walk in heels and I pretty much live in ankle boots - but when I'm out I keep an eye out for a nice pair of flats for when I don't want to wear boots or Converse. When I was looking through the sales in New Look I saw these adorable dark pink, spotty flats for only £6 and they were in my size (I'm a 4 which is quite hard to find for some reason) so I did a little happy dance and bought them. £6 for a pair of flats is pretty great and I know that New Look shoes are really good quality as I get a lot of ankle boots from there. They seem comfy so far and I can't wait to wear them somewhere nice. ^_^

The last place we went was HMV aka. heaven. I've found some amazing new bands recently and I wanted to get some more of their music, so naturally I went to HMV. I know a lot of people don't buy CDs now and do it all digitally but I personally love actual physical CDs so I buy them as much as I can. HMV is going out of business so I make a real effort to buy from them when I want a new album. When I went in I had a list on my phone of about 10 bands I wanted to look for but the range was kinda crappy so I only found a few, and due to a lack of money I could only afford one. Luckily it was the one CD I wanted the most: Free by Twin Atlantic. Twin Atlantic are amazing and Scottish and passionate and asdfghjkl I just love them. Free was only £5.99 as well which is awesome. 

Lots of love, Cat
xxx
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15 August 2013

The A - Z Book Survey

I saw this survey over at Amber's blog 'The Mile Long Bookshelf' and thought it looked pretty awesome so imma gonna do it. :D It's quite hard to find a book tag that hasn't been done to death so the A - Z Book Survey seems like a good one to do to get back in to book-blogging. 

Author you've read the most books from:
John Green! No surprise there. ;D

Best sequel ever:
I don't usually like sequels that much as they're never quite as good as the first book, but I do remember loving Spells by Aprilynne Pike which is the sequel to Wings. 

Currently reading:
Diary of a Mall Girl by Luisa Plaja. 

Drink of choice whilst reading:
Tea! I always drink tea though haha...I go between normal breakfast tea and vanilla rooibos. 

E-reader or physical book?
100% physical books. I have a Kindle and I do love it but nothing can beat a traditional physical book. ^_^

Fictional character you probably would have actually dated in high school:
AUGUSTUS WATERS!! Or Jeremiah Fisher from the Summer trilogy by Jenny Han. :P

Glad you gave this book a chance:
The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich. It was about the founding of Facebook which is a story that I absolutely love. I read it after seeing The Social Network but I didn't expect to like it because the writing took a while to get used to. I'm so happy I kept going though as it was awesome. :D

Hidden gem book:
Starter For Ten by David Nicholls. This is my favourite film and one of my favourite books. It's written incredibly well, the characters are awesome and it's one of the funniest books I've read, but for some reason it's not appreciated! 

Important moment in your book life:
I used to go to the library after school 4 days a week when I was 11. This is was where I discovered some of my favourite books and developed a real love for reading. 

Just finished:
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. It was UNBELIEVABLE. 

Kinds of book you won't read:
I'll read most books to be honest...I'm not the biggest fan of sci-fi though. 

Longest book you've read:
I really don't know. The longest book I attempted to read was The Host by Stephanie Meyer (617 pages) but I really didn't like it so I gave up after 200 pages. 

Major book hangover because of:
The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I read this the night after I saw the film, reading it in a few hours. When I woke up the next morning I was still crying a little and felt awful from the late and very emotional night...

Number of bookcases you own:
One bookcase that only has about 20 books in it (my favourites) then a book cupboard with 3 massive shelves. :P I have about 270 books. O_o

One book you've read multiple times:
All of John Green's books. :D Also The Banana Kid by Valerie Mason-John...and The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime by Mark Haddon...and Girl, Missing by Sophie McKenzie...and Starter For Ten by David Nicholls...I couldn't choose one! 

Preferred place to read:
In/on my bed. :D

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you've read:
"If people were rain I was drizzle and she was a hurricane" - John Green, Looking For Alaska. :')

Reading regret:
I'm annoyed that I didn't read the Harry Potter books when I was younger. :/ I really didn't like Harry Potter for most of my life so I never read the books. I love HP now so I really regret not reading them when I was younger. 

Series you started and need to finish:
On a related note, I haven't actually read all of the Harry Potters....I need to finish that series!

Three of your all-time favourite books:
Paper Towns by John Green, Starter For Ten by David Nicholls and The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I hated this question by the way.       -__-

Unapologetic fangirl for:
ALL OF THE JOHN GREEN BOOKS!! I've read them all multiple times and lurve them a whole lot. ^__^

Very excited for this release:
Whatever JG is writing next.....:D

Worst bookish habit:
Going for weeks without reading. I do this too often. :(

X marks the spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:
Pretty Things by Sarra Manning. I haven't read this yet but it sounds good. :)

Your latest book purchase:
Yesterday, I went to a local charity shop to stock up on books (like you do...) and bought My Mad Fat Diary by Rae Earl, You Don't Have To Say You Love Me by Sarra Manning, and Let's Get Lost also by Sarra Manning. I like Sarra Manning okay? :P My Mad Fat Diary is one of my all-time favourite TV shows so I can't wait to give the book a go. ^_^

Zzzz-snatcher book (last book that kept you up way too late):
I genuinely can't remember... I don't tend to stay up too late because of a book, it's more YouTube videos that make me lose sleep. :P

Feel free to do this tag! If you do, leave a comment or tweet me (@cathannnahXD) with a link to your post so I can read it. :)

Lots of love, Cat
xxx

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10 August 2013

Charli's Bookish Memories

Hi! I'm Charli and I blog over at To Another World. I'm co-hosting Summer Reading Smackdown with Cat, so this is my post on some bookish memories :D 

First up, a family favourite that I've known all my life is The Butter Battle Book, by Dr. Seuss. It's one of his less known books but my grandad, who was all about reading, writing, art and photography, introduced us to it and it's awesome! I love it because the moral of the book is that you should respect other's opinions, which is really important to me. 

Next is a book that I actually bought because of Cat! When I first started blogging over at RTSG, I was looking around Cat's blog and found a review of GIRL, MISSING by Sophie McKenzie and decided to buy it, even though I hadn't heard of her before. Now, she's one of my favourite authors and I have almost all of her books! I've introduced the book to my friends who now all own it, too. So I have Cat to thank for that one! 

Then there's Breathe (Sarah Crossan), Earth Girl (Janet Edwards), Gone (Michael Grant), Geek Girl (Holly Smale), Matched (Ally Condie), The  Choc Box Girls (Cathy Cassidy), Blood Ties, Girl Missing, Flynn (all by Sophie McKenzie) and they all have a special place in my heart. 

Lastly, my favourite book. It was recommended on so many blogs that I had to try it, and I loved it! That book is Divergent, Veronica Roth. There are no words for it. I showed it to one of my friends, and we are now fangirling constantly over both Allegaint and the movie. No. Words. 

So there you go. My favourite books and some memories to go with them. Come over to To Another World and check out Cat's guest post, and remember to sign up for the Smackdown!! :D 

Charli xx


Thank you so much for guest posting Charli! ^_^ I did a similar post over at her blog about my reading memories, so go check that out, here.

Lots of love, Cat
xxx
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8 August 2013

Becoming Magenta - COTN

Massive apologies for the first photo, it ain't the best...
It's my 16th birthday today so I had my party on the 6th with all of my amazing friends, and as I love all things film and musical related, I decided to make it a themed costume party! It took quite some time to choose who to dress as, but I resorted to my original idea and dressed as the amazing Magenta from Rocky Horror - one of my all-time favourite musicals. Due to me leaving it so late I didn't have time to buy anything for my costume so I just used what I already had and made an apron out of a bit of random fabric. Magenta wears a maid's headpiece but I, yet again, left that too late...Granted, the costume isn't my best work but I'm really happy with the make-up and hair. :D I gave myself 2 hours to get ready but I still found myself rushing. This may be because I took an hour back-combing my hair... I thought I would share with you what make-up I'm wearing and how I did my hair, as a couple of people were commenting on it on Instagram and Twitter. ^_^

Makeup

Face
I started off my washing and moisturising my face like normal, then I used the Maybelline Fit Me foundation in a light shade all over skin; firstly blending it in with my fingers then blending more in with a flat-topped ELF brush. I then set this with my favourite powder - Rimmel's Stay Matte powder - really piling it on as Magenta's skin should look very powdery and almost dusty. I contoured a little bit with a mix of Natural Collection bronzer and a dark brown eyeshadow from MUA. Magenta doesn't have any colour in her cheeks so I didn't use any blush. :)

Eyes
The eyes were so fun to do! Magenta doesn't exactly have neat eye makeup so I kinda just smushed lots of eyeliner and shadow into my eyelids and smudged it all about a bit. It turned out exactly how I wanted it, the only problem was taking it off later that night...I started off my using the Maybelline Colour Tattoo in On & On Bronze all over the lids, then I packed on a mix of black, grey and brown eyeshadows, all by MUA. I smudged it all out, added more eyeshadow then used the Collection 2000 Gel Liner in black to thicken my lash line and add some definition. I set the liner with some black eyeshadow to make it last longer, then used the Collection 2000 Lasting Finish Kohl Liner in black in my upper and lower waterlines. I never wear eyeliner in my waterline because it's a pain to remove, but this costume really needed it. :P Finally, I curled my eyelashes then piled on my Natural Collection Lash Length mascara. :D

Lips
Magenta has bricky-red lipstick on in the musical but I didn't have one that was a perfect match, so I used a slightly more orange-toned lipstick and layered it up to make it richer. The lipstick I used was by Natural Collection but I'm not sure which colour it is as the label is very old, haha. :P I used a red lip liner by MUA underneath it to make it last longer, and after each layer of lipstick I blotted it in with a tissue. It lasted pretty much all night. ^_^

Costume

My costume was pretty basic, just a black dress for H&M that I bought in the sale months ago, black tights, black heels (I wasn't wearing them in the photo though as they were ridiculously painful) and a handmade white apron. Not the best but it kinda worked, hehe. ;D

Hair

I absolutely loved doing my hair but as I back-combed it I could feel it getting more and more damaged and I could just imagine my hair hating me...All I did was use a little fine-toothed combed and backcombed it in small sections until it was poofy and there were no flat pieces left. I hair-sprayed every section after back-combing then back-combed it some more until it stood upright. I knew it was going to flatten a lot throughout the night to I made it a bit too crazy as I was getting ready. It was much much flatter and less mad when I got the above photos taken. The hairspray I used was by Shockwaves and was the maximum hold, volume one. It's my daily hairspray and I love it. ^_^

That's all for today! I hope you enjoyed this post. :)
Lots of love, Cat
xxx

COTN = Costume of the night ^_^
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7 August 2013

Housekeeping #2

There's a few things I wanted to tell you all but they're not significant enough for their own posts so I thought I would make another 'Housekeeping' post to throw lots of information at you at once. You're welcome.;D
  • First of all, I'd just like to say a huge thank you to everyone who signed up to the Summer Reading Smackdown that Charli and I are hosting over the next two weeks. We already have 8 people taking part but it is definitely not too late to sign up! The challenge starts to today and finishes on the 21st, but feel free to sign up during the fortnight. You can read all about it here, but the Summer Reading Smackdown is basically a two week-long reading challenge that should help you broaden your reading horizons and could push you to take more time to read in your everyday life. Charli and I are so excited about this challenge, and we hope you are too! To sign up just head over to this post and use the Mister Linky widget at the bottom of the post. ^_^
  • As I mentioned a lot a in April, May and June, I set my Standard Grade exams (exams you set when you're 15/16) and have been impatiently waiting for my results since. Well they arrived yesterday! O_O I was leaving the house with my mum to go ukulele shopping (YAY) and the post-van stopped next to us and passed my exam results through the window. I was terrified but after a couple of minutes of just staring at the cover letter and refusing to look at my grades, I finally took the sheet away and freaked the hell out. I passed them all!! :D The grades probably won't mean anything as most of you live out of Scotland...Nevertheless, I got A's for modern studies, art, administration and fashion, 1's for biology, english and maths, and a 2 for physics. In Scotland, A's and 1's are the highest. ^_^ I'm so pleased and relieved, especially after my exam months being a living nightmare. O_o So glad they're over! Until next year...
  • You might remember a certain product popping up on my wishlists every month last year...Maybelline Baby Lips! They've been out America for over a year and have been hyped up and raved about on YouTube ever since, but they've never been available in the UK. Until now! :D Two days ago I discovered that they've finally been released in Boots for £2.99 per lip balm, but when I looked in-store I couldn't find them anywhere. Luckily, I they are online here, and there's a 3 for 2 offer on right now which is great. :D
  • I'd love to give a couple of bloggers a shout-out as I've been talking to other bloggers more recently and have made some lovely friends. ^_^ First is Abbie from Abigail's Wonderland; I've been talking to Abbie a lot recently and she is seriously such a lovely and kind person. I really love talking to her and I think of her as a friend now. :) I've already mentioned the next person a couple of times in this post but next is Charli from To Another World; she is co-hosting the Summer Reading Smackdown with me (it was her great idea!) and we've been chatting on Twitter a lot over the past couple of days. She just lovely and has some amazing ideas when it comes to blogging. Finally is someone I've known for 7 years and was the reason I started blogging, Amber from The Mile Long Bookshelf. We lost touch for a while but we started talking again when I was on holiday, and I realised how much I missed having her there to chat to. She's such an amazing person and a great friend to have, plus her book blog is awesome. ^_^
  • Finally, I just wanted to let you know about some posts that I've been planning for the next couple of weeks. I normally keep them a secret but I'm hoping that telling you will push me to actually get them done. :P It's my 16th birthday tomorrow so I had my party last night with my amazing friends. It was a themed costume party and everyone dressed up as a character from a musical, film or TV show. It was such a great night! I'm going to do a post about my costume and makeup as I went as Magenta from Rocky Horror (one of my favourite musicals) and I'm pretty proud of my hair and makeup from last night. :D I'll probably do a birthday post too at some point, as you seemed to enjoy my birthday post from last year. I'm also planning to do a series of posts on my YouTube sub-box, talking about all of the amazing channels I'm subscribed too. This is a post I said I would do a good few months ago but never got round to it...Sorry! Finally I want to do a post about first impressions. Whether it be books, films, products or even people. I've been thinking about first impressions quite a lot recently and really wanted to do a post about how we judge everything we come across in everyday life. Hopefully you'll enjoy the posts coming up! 
That's all for today :)
Lots of love, Cat
xxx

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5 August 2013

SUMMER READING SMACKDOWN!

The lovely Charli and I have a very exciting announcement to make regarding a top-secret, reading-related, summer challenge! We've been planning it in the dead of night and keeping it to ourselves but now it's finally ready to be announced and released into the wild. Brace yourselves, 'cos this is exciting!
Summer Reading Smackdown

From Wednesday the 7th to Wednesday the 21st of August, we will be hosting a super-exciting summer reading challenge called the SUMMER READING SMACKDOWN! All you have to do is sign up, pop the button in your sidebar, then work your way through a list of reading-related challenges, reviewing and giving updates as you go. Here are the challenges!

  • Read a book you've been meaning to read for ages and review on your blog.
  • Read one recommendation from a friend or blogger and review it on your blog.
  • Write a paragraph in the POV of your favourite character and share on your blog.
  • Read a book from each of these genres: Dystopian, fantasy, contemporary and romance.

To take part in the SUMMER READING SMACKDOWN just sign up using the Mister Linky widget below, do a little sign-up post about the challenge and put the button in your blog's sidebar, preferably near the top. You have two weeks to complete as many of the above challenges as you can and if you complete all of the challenges we will feature you in a round-up post at the end of the challenge and you'll win a button to put on your blog. :) Any time you complete a challenge, review the book on your blog (it doesn't have to be a long review) and send us a link to the post either through Twitter or by commenting on this post (or Charli's post).

If you're taking part please tweet the hell out of this challenge and use the hashtag SRSChallenge! Share this as much as you can with friends and other bloggers, as we want as many people as possible to take part. This challenge should encourage reading and book-blogging, both of which are very important to us. ^_^

So sign up and remember to share share share! #SRSChallenge #SRSChallenge #SRSChallenge :D I'm @CatHannnahXD on Twitter and Charli is @RoseSunGlasses; please follow us for lots of SRS updates!

I think that's all you need to know. We really hope lots of you take part and have fun doing the SUMMER READING SMACKDOWN! :D

Lots of love, Cat
xxx

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4 August 2013

An Amazing Month

July was an amazing month. I think I would actually go as far as to say that it was the best month of the year, and possibly the best month of the past few years. I had some brilliant experiences, wonderful day trips and shared some amazing moments with my friends and now that it's August, I'm looking back on July remembering how much fun I had in those 31 days. ^_^


The 1st
This was the first real day of my summer holiday (I stopped the previous Friday, I don't count weekends :P) and I'd arranged with my friend to attempt to ombre my hair that morning. She came round at 10 and we spent hours in the bathroom with a box of blonde hair dye and me mildly freaking out but trying not to show it. It didn't work (at all...) but it was fun. It was pretty funny too as we used a toothbrush to put the dye in and stained the back of my white t.shirt a weird purple colour...:'D

The 6th
I made last-minute plans with a few friends to go into town and spend a day at a nearby country park and castle. It was an absolutely beautiful day (a good 30 degrees (celsius) or so) and it was the first time I'd seen a couple of these friends for ages due to them going on holiday when we were still at school. We got the bus into town and walked to the park where we sat on a big grassy hill and talked, then decided to walk to Tesco's to buy lunch and ice cream. This is where it got...interesting... We got lost. Very very lost. Despite the fact that we had all lived in the town for out entire lives, we walked in the completely wrong way for half an hour and didn't realise that we were lost until we passed the sign going into the town and noticed a road-sign saying 'Moscow'. Ooops... It took an hour and a half but we finally got to Tesco's where we bought lunch and 2 boxes of magnums. We ate, then passed out from exhaustion. It was an amazing day, even if I did go home with ruined feet. ^_^

The 7th
This was my favourite day of the month and one of my favourite days of the year so far. It was another beautiful, sunny and incredibly warm day so I spent some time at the beach with the same three friends as the day before. We were there for about 6 hours just sunbathing, burying each other in the sand and (attempting to) swim in the sea. It was seriously such an amazing day. ^__^ I did a lot of things I wouldn't usually do and achieved a lot of the things I've wanted to do for a while when I was there like going in the ocean, going somewhere new with my friends and buying food somewhere I hadn't been before (that one may seem small but it was a big thing for me). I'll never forget that day, it was awesome. :D

The 8th 
After a very busy weekend we decided to go to the cinema so we wouldn't have to spend too much time in the sun and wouldn't have to walk too much. I got the bus into town with a couple of friends then walked to the cinema (too much walking and sun already, haha), met up with our other friends and went to see 'Now You See Me'. I'd wanted to see it since I first saw the trailer a couple of months before, partly because it has Jesse Eisenberg in it (I love him) and partly because it's about magic. Magic. :D It definitely lived up to my expectations and was one of my favourite films of the year. 

The 13th
This was the day that my very first giveaway ended. I'd wanted to do a giveaway for a while but had been putting it off until I found the perfect prize, so when I finally held my Summer Reads giveaway I was pretty excited. :D I gave away the Summer trilogy by Jenny Han which are three of my favourite summer books, and the lovely Charli won them! 

The 15th
My amazing friend Beka turned 16 on the 14th and her party was on the 15th. We had a fancy tea party at my house with tea and cake and a lot of Haribo... I did some baking with a friend before the party then had an awesome day with everyone. I think (and hope) that Beka had a good day too, as a 16th birthday should be special. :)

The 20th - 27th
I went away to the Highlands for a week with my family. We stayed in a lodge in Muir Of Ord and had some great day trips to different towns like Beauly, Nairn, Fort Augustus and Forres. We visited Loch Ness, Cawdor Castle and Culloden Battlefield, and even went dolphin spotting one morning. It was an amazing week! You can read about my first two days here, days 3 and 4 here and the last two days here.  

I hope you all had a lovely July and hopefully August will be even better! ^_^
Lots of love, Cat
xxx

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2 August 2013

I Love...July Edition!

It's been a long time since my last monthly favourites post, about 6 months I think, so it's about time I got back into the routine of doing them. I enjoy writing them and you enjoy reading them (I think!) so there's no excuse. Let's get back into things with my July favourites! ^_^

 

My first favourite from July is the Bare Minerals Purifying Facial Cleanser, which I've been using every night since the beginning of the month. This was a holiday present from my lovely friend, Beka. I'm not sure how she managed this but I had actually ran out of cleanser the morning that she gave me this present, so I started using it straight away and have loved it since. The smell is...unusual and probably the only thing I don't really like about this product. It's very strong and kinda reminds me of plasters, but everything else about this cleanser is wonderful, especially the results; it doesn't dry my skin out and I haven't had any major skin problems since I started using it. 

Next is Rimmel's Kate Moss Lipstick in 06. I bought this from Fragrance Direct for £1.99 in May and have loved it ever since. It's my go-to lipstick for everyday because, even though it's very bright and bold, it's still easy to wear and suits every occasion. I love the smell of these lipsticks too; they have a lovely sweet cherry scent that reminds me of those cherry gummy sweets you get. Love love love. They last pretty well too, probably about 2 or 3 hours, without drying your lips out. :)

My next favourite is the Love Etc. scent from The Body Shop. I've been loving the perfume and body wash of this scent this month as it's very light and summery and is the perfect balance between fruity and floral. I got the perfume months ago and have been using it every day since. I got the body wash just before going on holiday and I loved it when I was away. I'd highly recommend this scent if you like light perfumes that aren't too fruity or floral. 

My final beauty favourite is Essie's Neo Whimsical nail polish. This is easily my all-time favourite nail polish and it has been for a good few months. I should have blogged about it much earlier actually... I can put this nail polish on in the dark and it only takes me a couple of minutes to get two coats of this on. This is the nail polish I use if I just quickly need to add some colour to my hands before going out and I haven't got time to think about it. This is nail polish that is on my nails in 80% of photos of me. I love it. Neo Whimsical is a very pale lilac/pink with no shimmer, and is opaque within two thin coats. The brush and formula are amazing! I'd definitely recommend this nail polish. ^_^

The next favourite is a weird one for me and is probably completely unexpected: Glee Presents The Warblers... I love Glee, I love show choirs, I love The Warblers and I love Darren Criss. This is my dream CD and since I bought it last month I've been listening to it non-stop. It's so good! My favourite tracks are probably Animal, Teenage Dream and Silly Love Songs. :D

My next favourite from July is a coaster I bought in Inverness when I was on holiday. It says 'my cat is an angel from heaven above, with sandpaper kisses and a heart full of love'. I feel like it describes my cat, Millie, perfectly so I fell in love with it when I saw it in a gift shop. My cat means the world to me and I drink a lot of tea...so a cat themed coaster is perfect. 

July's final favourite is a little more general, but includes something I made earlier on in the month: magazine collages. I have a load of old magazines lying around so I decided to create a collage on one of my cupboard doors. The doors were just plain white and boring so I ripped up magazines and cut out pictures of models and fashions I like, then blu-tacked them as a collage onto the panels. It took hours but I'm so happy with the results! I just love magazine collages; they reflect a person's style perfectly and can be so inspirational. You'll probably notice that my collage features Cara Delevingne, Pretty Little Liars, jumpers and pastels pretty heavily, showing my personal style and my favourite faces of fashion. ^_^

I hope you enjoyed the return of my monthly favourites!
Lots of love, Cat
xxx
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1 August 2013

Interview With Luisa Plaja

Last year I reviewed the book 'Love Date Kiss Hate' by the lovely Luisa Plaja on my book blog, Stuck In A Book, which is now closing down. I re-posted the review here yesterday but I thought it would be nice to give you a little extra bonus and post an interview with the amazing author herself. ^_^
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1. When and how did you discover your passion for writing?
That's a great question! Well, I don't remember a time when I wasn't intrigued by books, and lots of my baby pictures feature me pretending to read. As soon as I could read properly, I also tried to write my own stories. I wrote my first 'novel' when I was about four. I illustrated it, too, but we won't talk about that. ;)

2. What did you want to be growing up?
Wait for it... A writer. :)

3. What were your best subjects at school?
Wait for it again... English! Also foreign languages. I loved language in general, really. English is technically my second language as I mostly lived in Italy in my earliest years. I used to speak a mixture of English and Italian and I'd have trouble making myself understood by anyone of any nationality. This led to a fascination with vocabulary and grammar, and my love for language never went away. I have a degree in Linguistics and have had jobs building dictionaries of all kinds, physical and virtual.

4. Any funny school stories?
I don't know about 'funny', but I can probably do 'tragic'. For example, there was the hedgehog cake that I made in cookery, carefully placing each chocolate button spike into its intricate butter icing back. It was a masterpiece, I swear... until I tripped on my way home and sent the whole thing flying through the air. But, fear not - or not completely, anyway! It managed to stay within the confines of the cake tin, and though it might have been squished beyond any kind of recognition as a hedgehog and certainly no longer spiky, it still tasted pretty good. My friends and I devoured it on the school coach.
5. Do you enjoy working with bloggers?
Yes! Bloggers are brilliant.

6. Is there one book you are proudest of?
No, not really. Finishing a book is always a triumph (even though it never truly feels finished).

7. What is your biggest achievement?
Survival. So far. ;)Though there is this review of Split by a Kiss 
Amazing.

8. What is your favourite thing about being an author?
Feedback from readers, definitely, every time.
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I hope you all enjoyed this interview and got to know Luisa a little better. You should definitely check out her books; they're wonderful and she's an amazing author. ^_^

Lots of love, Cat
xxx
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