27 Apr 2014

The Kite Runner I Khaled Hosseini


Over the two weeks that I have had off I have literally had my nose stuck in this book for the majority of the time. This will be the third time that I have read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini but yet when I turned the last page, I wanted to flick back to the start of the book and read it all over again. This is the one book that I will never, ever, ever get bored of!


Set in Afghanistan, this story follows the life of a boy named Amir as he struggles for his father's attention. The first half of the book consists of Amir looking back on his childhood and reflecting on an event that took place one day that would later go on to change his life forever. But years later after moving to America, marrying and forging a successful career as an author, Amir cannot forgot the incident that happen all that time ago. So he over comes his fears and travels to extremes to fix the problems that he had left behind him in the hope that he now might be able to sleep peacefully again at night. But all is not what it seems...

The plot of this book is so thick and surprising. Ever time I read it I am still as shocked as the first time. Just trust me when I say that this book this one of my favorite books for a reason. It is one of the best books that I have had the pleasure of reading in a long time. Hosseini has this long lasting ability to organize and write a plot that can make you smile, laugh and cry all at the same time.


 Every time I read it I am completely sucked into a world of fear and heartache at the hands of the Taliban. You are shown an insight into a whole new culture that you have never experience before and since reading this book I have learnt a lot about the world. Black, white, blue or green everyone deserves a shot at happiness.

So for people who say that books cannot move you to the point where you actually sit and cry when you close the last page, please read get a copy of The Kite Runner and read it. You will thank me in the long run. And I guarantee that it will move even the most coldest of hearts and bring a smile to your face that will not leave for a week

.

Happy reading,
Love Beth xx







25 Apr 2014

A Girl's Worst Nightmare!

I've always been a fan of Clean & Clear products. So I was really happy the other day to find some rather useful tools on their website that I thought I would share.


Spots are probably one of the most hated things in the whole world. They are sneaky little things that pop up out of nowhere for no good reason, at really bad times, and just look ugly no matter how much you try to hide them. I always get break outs when I have something important planned to do like a friends party or a family reunion. I spend the whole time being so self-concious about them that I don't enjoy myself and would like nothing better than to run all the way home and hide under my duvet in bed. It never gets easier. But what surprises me is the fact that even though we all get them from time to time nobody seems all that keen to discuss it or offer any advice. It seems like a taboo subject theses days.
For that reason, there are a lot of myths surrounding spots like the fact that they are contagious, caused by an unhealthy diet or lack of hygiene. People don't take consider acne as a medical problem or know that you can go to your local doctor who can prescribe you cream and pills to take for it.

I remember getting my first spot around 10 or 11 and completely going into meltdown.  We'd be told at primary school that we would get 'spots' but at the time I didn't even know what a spot looked like, how it was caused or what was the best way to get rid of it. I kind of expected it to be like a cut you get on your arm when you fall over and thought it would scab over or something. But it wasn't like that at all. One day it was there and the next it wasn't. I literally thought somebody had come and peeled it right off my skin, like a plaster, while I slept.

So on the Clean & Clear website I found a page with advice and information on spots which I would happily take and show my 12 year old self if we ever one day worked out how to travelled back in time (along with visiting Shakespeare, Henry VIII, Queen Victoria, the dinosaurs, Jesus, my great-grandparents and a disco in the 80s!).

I also found a 4 question quiz that you can complete anonymously online that will ask you about your skin's condition and at the end recommend some of their products that would best suit you based on answers you gave. It is really helpful as I often find it hard to find products that are 100% perfect for my skin type, but this tool allows me quickly and easily find the perfect one.

I hope this helps and is some comfort to you as you now know that your not the only one suffering. Maybe you even learnt a thing or two. 

Let me know if you visit either of the links that I have given or maybe you have some advice of your own. I'm all ears xx 




23 Apr 2014

Easter Fun #4

On Easter Sunday, I had a pretty lazy day just sitting around indoors eating my Easter eggs. Just to let you know that they aren't all mine in the picture below. Only the chocolate bunny and one of the Mars eggs under that are mine too. The rest are my brother's! I sense a bit of favouritism going on here.   


After eating most of the chocolate bunny's head in the morning, I decided to spend the afternoon causally painting hard boiled eggs "like they did in the good old days" as my dad said when he found me sucking on the end of the paintbrush in deep thought about the next colour I was going to use. They now sit proudly on my bedroom window sill looking as beautiful as ever: 













This is the last of the 'Easter Fun' posts and I'm glad to see that so many of you have enjoyed reading them. Maybe I'll do something like this again soon...

Love Beth xx

21 Apr 2014

Easter Fun #3

I've actually done so much over the Easter period that even though it is pretty much over now, I still have lots of things planned to write about. So I'm sorry but there might be a few more of theses to come! Not sure if that is a good or bag things but we will find out soon enough...

On Good Friday, me and the family (not forgetting the cat who likes to come walkies with us, trot along beside us and roll around on the floor much like a dog would!) went over one of the nature reserves near our house. The last time I went there I must have been about 10 or 11 so it was nice to get back out there and relive some of my childhood again.

The weather was absolutely beautiful and even though we were in the shade and only walking for about an hour, I was boiling by the end. My arms now have a nice tan but it won't last long!

The wild bluebells that I remembered from before had sprung up again as they do each year without fail, covering the woodland floor is a carpet of blue and purple. I decided to get my trusty camera out and theses are just some of the results that I got. What'd ya think?





Please ignore the expression on my face or ask why I happened to be perched up a tree in this picture. I did not know this was being taken at the time, but the bluebells just looked so pretty here that I had to share it with you:


Also in some of the surrounding fields oilseed rape was beginning to flower, turning the rolling hills into a sea of stunning yellow:



It was just nice to go outside and get a breath of fresh air. I'm not a massive tree-hugger, eco-freak or whatever you want to call it but I have to say I did really enjoy myself that day. 

You should try it some time. If you do I'd loved to hear from you and find out how you found it getting down and dirty with nature. It doesn't sound that fun (rather disgusting actually!) but it really is great!

Love Beth xx

19 Apr 2014

Easter Fun #2

So it is officially Easter now! Therefore I can "officially" write Happy Easter To You! 

On Thursday I decided to get myself into the Easter-y (is that even a word?) mood again by painting my nails bright green! The colour of spring. I was planning on attempting a little yellow chick on my thumb but I just ran out of time. Even so I think they look very nice, wouldn't you agree?


I really love this colour because it isn't a sickly green like some of the polishes that I have sampled over the years. It is much paler, more pastel like. 


I used a L'Oreal nail polish in Wasabi. It is from one of their mini nail polish collections so you don't get much of it in a bottle and its hard to get the last bits out. However, because it is a smaller bottle it is cheaper which is probably why it isn't one of the best nail vanishes that I have used. 



It found that it didn't give a smooth finish and a minimum of 3-4 coats is needed, yet even then it is uneven and messy. I wouldn't really recommend this certain one but I think that a green tone similar to this polish is essential  for any girl's beauty bag. You can never go wrong with a bit of green, trust me!


#1-L'Oreal Color Riche Nails Wasbi Hint 833- Superdrug

Love Beth xx

17 Apr 2014

Easter Fun #1

One of my favourite things about Easter is the Hot Cross Buns! I know you can basically buy them all year around but, to me,they never taste quiet the same than the ones you buy at Easter. Surprisingly enough, after all the Easters that I have experienced, I have never made them. So the other day I pulled on my apron, got out the flour and actually made some buns (even if it did take me ages)! 

To make 12 buns you will need: 
  • 2oz (50 g) Caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried yeast
  • 1lb (450 g) plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon mixed spice*
  • 3oz (75 g) currants* 
  • 2oz (50 g) cut mixed peel*
  • 1 fl oz (40-55ml) warmed milk
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 2oz (50 g) melted butter   
For the crosses you will need:
  • 4oz (110 g) plain flour
  • 5 tablespoons of water    
For the glaze your will need:
  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons of water
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. First stir the caster sugar into 5 fl oz (150 ml) warm water, sprinkling in the yeast. Leave until a thick frothy 'beer' head forms (Warning: will smell disgusting!)


2. Meanwhile sift the flour, salt and mixed spice into a mixing bowl and add the left over 2 oz (50 g) of sugar, the currants and mixed peel. Make a well in the centre of this, pouring in the yeast mixture plus 1½ fl oz (40 ml) of warm milk and the beaten egg and the melted butter. 


3. Now mix it to a dough with your hands using a wooden spoon to help you at the begining
Transfer the dough on to a clean surface and knead it until it is smooth and stretchable. This should take about 6 minutes.


4. Then put it back into the original bowl, cover the top with cling film and leave it in a warm place for an hour, until it has double in size. It should be about this large:


5. Turn this out and knead again, back down its original size.

6. Divide the mixture into 12 round portions, spacing them out on a greased baking tray like this so they have room to expand:


7. Put these to one side and make the crosses using a simple flour-and-water paste. Mix together until it turns to a pale dough. Roll this out and cut into small strips, brushing the buns and the strips with water to make them stick:



8. You may have some excess paste left at the end which you can simple cut off and roll out again.

9. Leave the dough to rise, again covering with cling film, for about 25 mins. They will now begin to look more like hot cross buns

10. Bake the buns for just under 15 mins in the oven at gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C). Keep an eye on them as they will burn really easily at this high temperature as I found out:


11. While they are cooking, melt the ingredients for the glaze over a low heat. Brush the buns with this as soon as they come out of the oven to make them nice and shiny. 

12. This yummy Easter treat is best served hot with butter. Arrange on a plate and let the family tuck in! 


"What do you get when you pour boiling hot water down a rabbit hole?"

"HOT CROSS BUNNIES!"

Happy Easter,
Love Beth xx 

At The Movies I Divergent

On Thursday I went to my local Empire Cinema to see the first instalment of the three part sci-fi action film, Divergent. It is based on a novel by Veronica Roth with the same name.


It is set is a futuristic version of  Chicago where society has been split into five different groups as a means of keeping the peace after a brutal war many years ago. At the age of 16 citizens must undergo a test that decides which group they best fit into and at the Choosing Ceremony they must pick, with the test results in mind, which group they wish to join. However, once they join a group they cannot change their mind. If a person is thrown out their group they will be declared Factionless and we will be seen as the lowest of the low in their society; not better than a lump of dirt on a pure white carpet.

The film follows a girl named Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) whose test results shown that she does not fit into just one of the five groups but several. This is a very rare occurrence and is known as being 'divergent'.  People ,like Tris, who are divergent are seen by many as a threat to their peaceful society and therefore must be terminated. For that reason Tris must keep her true test results a secret and hide her identity within one of groups, hoping that nobody will find out. However within her chosen group she is put through gruelling training exercising that challenge her both physically and mentally. With her guard weakened, people begin to suspect she is different and it is not long before another war breaks out and she has no choice but to protect to people she loves, even if that means revealing her secret to the world!

Normally I will read the book of the film first before I go to see it, but this time I did the opposite. Walking into the dark room of the cinema, I had no idea what to expect from this film apart from the information that I had gained from watching the trailer below:


At first ,while I gorged on popcorn (that I promised myself I wouldn't eat until the film started) during the initial adverts, I wondered if I would become bored by the film as it lasted for over two hours. However I was pleasantly surprised that I was not bored at all, in fact it was the complete opposite! For the majority of the film I was on the edge of my seat, jumping with excitement for what was about to happen next; a jittering ball of nerves with my hand almost permanently glued to my mouth to suppress the gasps of shock as the plot took another unexpected twist; quiet literally feeling the emotions of the characters as they were plunged into the deep end; laughing at the funny bits; crying at the sad bits; crying at the happy bits and towards the end just crying for the heck of it. The talented actors/actresses just added to this with special recognition going to Shaliene Woodley who "played a blinder" (as my family would say) as the lead role. I'm sure the casting for this character will please the novel's original  fan base, which is about to get much bigger believe me! And I must say I was very entertained by the directors attempt to hide Kate Winslet's  (who plays Jeanine, the evil leader of the revolting group who start the new war) baby bump!

Honest, Divergent it is one of the best films that I have had the pleasure of seeing in a long time. A close second to The Hunger Games and Harry Potter films. A must-see 2014 film, but don't forget your popcorn because after all a film without popcorn can hardly be classed as a film can it?

 "What Makes You Different Makes You Dangerous" but I says what's the fun in being predictable,

Love Beth xx

15 Apr 2014

"What A Wonderful World"- Louis Armstrong

All my life I have been shipped around to different opticians who bombard you with glasses the moment you walk through the door.

First you are greeted by the rather over-perky receptionist who flashes you a smile and violently wobbles her head with enough force to shake the thick-rimmed glasses from the end of her nose. "Oh please do take a seat and we will be with you shortly" she tells you while attempting to fix her glasses back on her nose without stabbing herself in the eye for the third time that day.

Then you have to find a seat in the extremely small waiting room. However the only seat left is between two very old and rather...shall we say big women who are currently in the middle of an argument about whose new hair cut is the most "sexiest" and which one is the best "toy boy magnet". Once you are safely settled (or should I say squashed) between them you see that buried within the tangled bird-nest of grey on their heads is their glasses. And at that moment you can't help but wish one of them would turn around and tap you on the arm saying  "Pardon me deary for irrupting but have you seen my glasses? I can't seem to find them anywhere". Oh dear how I would laugh at that!

 And finally when the optician calls your name so quietly you think for a moment you have imagined it until you see the man/women bending over you wearing three pairs of glasses- one on their face, another dangling from a chain around their neck and the third sticking out from their breast pocket. Only in an opticians, you think to yourself.

Then once you have come out of the eye test, adamant that you will not purchase another pair of glasses to add the 500 other pairs that you refuse to wear at home, a women comes over,  pushes you over to the glasses section and starts to hold up different frames beside your face, muttering and smiling to herself. When you leave the shop with one of them stupid plastic bags that rip with the slightly touching containing a pair of "cool" glasses, a spare pair "in case you lose the first", several glasses cases in all different styles because you "just can't decided which one is best" and bottles full of expensive liquid that do everything that water could do but much worse. Then as you walk away you wonder why the lady was smiling and wonder what she was muttering?
She just brainwashed £500 + out of your purse without you even knowing and probably said something like "What a stupid ugly fool" under her breath! THAT'S WHY SHE WAS DAMN WELL SMILING!

So as of yesterday I hold my hands up the brainwashing god and surrender. I will no longer fall into his greedy-glasses-giving-money-taking-hands. This is because I have been saved by another god. He (if he does even exist which I very much doubt he does) has given me the gift of invisible glasses, also known as contact lenses! They are marvellous little things that you just pop in and out of the eyeball whenever you feel like it and nobody suspects a thing. Its my equivalent of the so called dirty little secret!

Now I can actually see things, where before it was all a bit of a colourful foggy blur. The trees no longer look like strange floating blobs of green but giant plants that are made from beautifully rounded diamond shaped leaves that sprout from the branches. Then houses no longer look like blown up cardboard boxes with windows and doors but amazing designs and architecture made from individual bricks that are very slightly different. People in the distance no longer look like skin colour fuzzy trees wearing some kind of materiel to cover their modesty but people....real people with eyes, ears and mouths that I could previously only see when they are a metre from my face. The world is so much brighter and more wonderfully detailed now than before. And the best thing is that people always ask me why I am always smiling and randomly shouting out the writing on signposts but I simply shrug and say "Why aren't you?". 

So just appreciate the fact that what you see when you look out the window is very different from what some people, like me and those who are completely blind, can see. This is a wonderful, beautiful world so please can we just look after it?


Love Beth xx




12 Apr 2014

Beautiful Blue!

Afternoon ladies xx 
I brought this outfit a little while ago thinking it would be perfect for summer. We haven't had much warm weather yet so I thought I would throw on some leggings under the shorts and voilĂ  we have the results below:

(I can't work out the self timer on my camera so I have been relying on my mirror to help me out!)



I really love the belt that comes theses shorts! It is a bit fiddly to do up as it clips together at the back and not at the front as most normal belts do. But I really like to effect it gives and you wear the belt with other things as well as it is not attached to the material. 




What's even better is that this outfit (minus the leggings) is all from Primark! 

I'm sorry but Primark is not "disgusting, trashy, rubbish, for poor people" or whatever some of you may currently be thinking. To be honest, I'm not one of those girls who will buy designer clothes just to flash around a little piece of materiel stitched behind the neck that has the designer's name on. I don't see the point when you can get a perfectly good outfit for half the price that you could pay for one designer item. Its all well having an entire wardrobe filled with Ralph Lauren,  Prada, Louis Vuitton and Channel but does it really make a difference to how fashionable you look when you pop down to Tesco to get some milk? And don't magazines always have that section where they find affordable items from New Look and River Island that look almost identical to designer brands? It is a complete and utter waste of time if you ask me. I'll go on a shopping spree with £100 in my purse, buy bag fulls of clothes and shoes and still have money left to treat my mum to a meal in Nando. 

High street brands all the way! 

And just a little notice that is my 20th blog post! As long as you continue to enjoy my blog, I will continue to post. 
Thank you for sticking around xxx 
#1-Top- Primark | Shorts- Primark | Leggings- BHS | Camera- Amazon

Total price of all products at the time of publish: £102.99

9 Apr 2014

Have A Sniff Of This!

Good new! I'm off for two weeks for Easter until 22nd when my revision begins for GCSE exams at the end of May and June. Wish me luck...

The only thing that is getting me through all that stress is the smell of Original Source shower gel! I know it sounds weird but you cannot judge me until you have opened the lid of this product and smelt it. Honestly it is one of the best things I have ever smelt in my life. Its good enough to eat! 


Not only does it leave you smelling gorgeous but it leaves your skin so smooth and silky. For a person with very dry arms, this item is a must! Not only that but it is 100% animal cruelty free, uses natural fragrances from the real fruit and oils they put in and the WHOLE bottle can be recycled. 

In my opinion this product just keeps getting better and better. 

#1

#2

My favourite ones are the Original Source Vanilla and Raspberry, because it really does smell like you have just stuck your head in a huge bowl of hand-picked strawberries and cream and the Lemon and Tea Tree shower gel which is such a beautiful colour when squeezed onto a sponge and makes the bathroom smell like you are cooking pancakes.

You can also buy shampoo, conditioner, shaving foam, bubble bath and body lotion to name but a few. They may be slightly more expensive than ordinary products but I think its worth it.  

In a few days, I hope to go to my local supermarket and see people down the body aisle sneakily undoing the lids of Original Source products to have a smell of it. Then start shouting at their parents/friend/boyfriend/girlfriend/cousin/dog (or whoever else they happen to be out shopping with) to "COME HERE RIGHT NOW AND HAVE A SNIFF OF THIS!"

Happy Sniffing,
Beth xx


(Packs of 6)
#1-Shower gel- Amazon
#2- Shower gel- Amazon 

Total price of all products shown at the time of publishing: £25.79




6 Apr 2014

Q&A: The Best Way To Remove Polish


Recently I was sent this message from a reader:

"Hi Beth, how is the best way to get rid of excess polish around the nails without ruining the work I just did" 

The simple answer to this wonderful question is ear buds!


The secret is to dip one end of the ear bud  into a liquid remover- I used the basic Superdrug one but it doesn't really matter as they all work the same. Then you use it to gently clean up around the nails without causing any harm to the nail polish you just applied. It is quick, simple and easy to do. 

WARNING!! Do not try if you have a cut or something on the skin as it will sting like mad, as I just found out when I was using my new O.P.I nail vanish (here*)

Hope this helps you.
I'm open for any more questions you may have. My contact details can be found here

Love Beth xoxo
Please note questions will only be published publicly once I have gotten the person's consent 


3 Apr 2014

I Can't Sing!

Last Wednesday was the opening night of the new musical I Can't Sing, written by comedian Harry Hill and based on the hit talent show The X Factor. But a few weeks ago I, as well as my parents and a friend of mine, attended a special preview of the musical at The Hammersmith Apollo in London. We were amongst the first few hundred people to witness the show!


It follows the story of girl named Chenice as she discovers her talent for singing and ,with the help of her friend Max, she fights against the other contestants auditioning for the talent show in a bid to win a recording contract and bring her family out of poverty.


The show has great variety with a mixture of emotional, serious but mostly comical moments. Staging, lighting and costume is superb and the casting of the crew is brilliant. I was amazed at the casts ability to not only shine in the acting elements of the show but also the dancing and singing aspects. However, Chenice's pet dog Barlow (who was actually a puppet on the hand of a man who whizzed around the stage on a skateboard that was tied to his shin ) stole the show. With his witty one liners that made the audience roar with laughter and his loveable personality, you couldn't help but adore him. Parody characters like Jordy (a hilarious mickey take of Cheryl Cole), Louis (who was played so well by the actor that at one point I really believed it was Louis Walsh) and Liam O'Deary (who also made us giggle) were all amazing as well.


I think it would be wrong not to start another paragraph for the songs as they were the ultimate stars of the show. In the first song "Please Simon" the cast is seen begging for attention as they sing their sob-stories about why they should win the talent show:
"Please Simon, I won't give up I'll keep trying, every single member of my family is dying"

Then there is the song "I Wanna Be Like Bono":
"I want to save the whale, that is my greatest wish. They're just like human beings, except they're blue and fish" 

Then my favourite song and the song from which the musical gets it name, "I Can't Sing" (but clearly Cynthia Erivo who plays Chenice can sing very very very well):
""I can't sing, open my throat and windows start to crack. I thought a quaver was a cheese-based snack." and "There's a million songs I have mangled, every note in my throat gets tangled. Sounding more like a cat being strangled by its own ball of string, I can't sing."

And to round off a very good night Simon Cowell ,who had both been sitting in the audience with the mother of his son Lauren Silverman, got up on stage to thank everybody for coming and said that he hoped we had "enjoyed" our time. Before passing the microphone back to the directer he said "And yes, I am fabulous" referring to one of the songs with the same title that his character sings. And I do have agree with him. Simon and his musical were utterly FABULOUS!  





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