Friday, 30 November 2012

November Reads.

november reads

As you can probably tell from the photograph most of November has been 'catch up on library books' month as once again they were all due back around the same time. There has been quite an interesting mix though with Science Fiction, Fantasy, Crime, Dystopian, Horror and YA Thrillers all making an appearance.

A Game Of Thrones, George R.R. Martin (1996)
This fantasy series has become even more popular since the TV adaptation launched last year (which I have to admit I haven't watched) so I decided to pick up the first book from the library and see what all the fuss was about. There was a lot going on in this book and the format was interesting as each chapter was written in the third person from the point of view of a main character, rotating between around nine different characters. This meant that some chapters were more enjoyable than others and there were a few chapter heading names I dreaded seeing when I turned the page. I found it quite difficult to get through especially as I wasn't able to renew it and had to read it quite quickly, not ideal for a book of such length or with so many characters! I know my opinion won't be very popular but I didn't really enjoy it, this type of fantasy setting just doesn't appeal to me. 2/5

Zom-B, Darren Shan (2012)
This was the subject of my second review for Blogger's Bookshelf and unfortunately didn't turn out to be what I had expected. It tells the story of teenager B and her relationship with her father who is a racist and bully but it set against the backdrop of a zombie tale. The zombie reports the family have seen on the news quickly turn from a suspected hoax to reality in this the first of a twelve book series. There seemed to be a lot of hype surrounding Zom-B as Shan is such a popular YA horror author, but even having never read any of his other work I was still left disappointed. To find out what rating I gave to Zom-B head on over to Blogger's Bookshelf [here] to read my full review.

Shift, Em Bailey (2011)
Shift is a 'psychological thriller' with an interesting but odd supernatural element and is the YA debut of Australian author Em Bailey. It follows the life of teenager Olive when a mysterious new student and suspected shapeshifter joins her school and changes everything. I have also written a full review of this for Blogger's Bookshelf which was posted just this week. You can find it [here] if you're interested in reading more about the story including my rating.

Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card (1985)
Considered a classic of the genre by many I was intrigued to pick up this book and find out just what that famous twist is! The story centres around Ender who is just six years old when he is taken from his family to train as a soldier to fight against an alien race called the Buggers. The book follows Ender on his journey through military training at battle school whilst also sharing the escapades of his siblings back on Earth. My main issue with Ender's Game was the chapter lengths, a 326 page book with only 15 chapters means that they were far too long for someone like me who can't stop reading in the middle of a chapter, and when you are tired but want to read a little before going to sleep fifty pages is just too much to concentrate on. A lot of time also passes over the 300 pages, like I said at the beginning of the book Ender is just six years old and by the end he is around twelve. As for the twist, honestly this was one I really enjoyed! I'm not in a hurry to read the rest of the series but I would like to make my way through them at some point. 4/5
 
Driven, James Sallis (2012)
I really enjoyed both the book and 2011 loosely based film adaptation of Drive so I was interested to read this newly released sequel. The book follows Driver seven years after then first book when his fiancee is murdered. Unfortunately I didn't think it lived up to the previous book and had to force myself to sit down and finish it even though it has only 159 pages and very short chapters. I was planning to read another of Sallis' books this month too but Driven definitely put me off and instead I returned it to the library unread. 2/5

 The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood (1985)
I started this multi-award winning book way back in September but because of my library overload I hadn't had a chance to sit down and finish it until now. The extreme version of the world we are introduced to in this book is horrible but does make for an interesting read, although I do wish I had found the time to read it all in one go. Due to the nature of the story a fair bit of world-building was necessary which did take up a large proportion of the book and I also found the lack of quotation marks very difficult to get used to. Definitely one to pick up if you enjoy the Dystopian genre. 3.5/5

Candor, Pam Bachorz (2009)
Candor is the second YA 'psychological thriller' I read this month but unlike Shift it didn't have the supernatural element, instead it centres around the idea of brainwashing. The story is set in Florida and follows teenager Oscar who is the son of Candor town's mayor. Oscar has managed to save himself from the brainwashing messages that are played throughout the town by creating his own counter-messages but when a new resident arrives he makes it his mission to save her from the messages too. I have written a full review of this for Blogger's Bookshelf which will be up sometime soon so make sure you look out for that to find out my rating!

* Ready Player One will be in next month's roundup as I haven't managed to finish it in time for today!

What did you read in November?

 Don't forget to follow me on Goodreads & visit Blogger's Bookshelf for at least four book reviews per week.
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Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Weekly Style Inspiration #86

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Check Sleeve Denim Shirt £36, Nails in Mercury Rising £6, Textured Boucle Parka £110 : Topshop
Nugget Chain Bracelet by Shashi £20.70 : Shopbop
Skull & Dots Sweater $50.99/£32 : Romwe
Raccoon Slippers £15 : Accessorize
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Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Five Favourites: High Street Conditioners

high street conditioners

TRESemme Keratin Smooth Restoring Conditioner, £4.99 for 500ml - I've only just recently started using this conditioner as part of my quest to reduce fluffiness, flyaways and frizz but so far I'm impressed. I think at £4.99 it is a really affordable option if you're interested in smoothing products but don't want to splash out on any of the high end brands. I've also been using the matching shampoo and heat defence spray both of which I would definitely recommend trying as well.

John Frieda Full Repair Deep Conditioning Mask, £6.29 for 100ml - Of the deep conditioners available on the high street I think Full Repair is one of the best. Although I'm not currently using it I do think the Full Repair range in general is worth a try if you're looking to find something new for dry hair. I do think it is a little overpriced for how much product you get, let's be honest 100ml won't go far on longer hair, but as I', sure you know by now John Frieda products are often on 3 for 2 or 2 for £7.50 deals so there's always an opportunity to stock up!

LUSH Retread, £9.95 for 245g - My favourite of the bunch is definitely Retread and I actually wrote a whole post on it back in August which you can find here. This conditioner leaves my hair feeling super soft, light and smooth for days, not forgetting that it smells amazing - just like Parma Violets! I know a lot of people think that the small tub won't last long enough to justify the price tag but I've found I can get around 12 uses from one tub when applied to the bottom two thirds of my hair only (and I have super long hair!). If used once a week as a deep conditioning treat that means a tub will last around 3 months. Yes, it is the priciest of my choices but I do think it is worth the money for the instant results it gives.

Dove Colour Radiance Express Treatment Conditioner, £3.35 for 180ml - Although the ends of my hair are lightened I don't tend to opt for colour protecting products like this one. I also don't usually take any notice of Dove products in general but this conditioner leaves my hair feeling impressively soft. The tube pictured above is actually a sample size and when I looked up the price of a full-sized tube I was pleasantly surprised to find how inexpensive it is. Although usually only £3.35 it is actually currently on offer at Superdrug for only £1.65 so this is the perfect time to try it out!

Loreal Elvive Damage Care Conditioning Repair Spray, £3.99 for 200ml - This is a conditioning product I have been using for years, its great for a top up in between washes and for applying before blowdrying for extra softness. It doesn't weigh down the hair like some leave in conditioners do which is a bonus if you have long or thick hair like I do. I wasn't able to find it on either the Boots or Superdrug wesbites so I'm not sure if it has been discontinued, I have seen it on the shelves recently though so hopefully you can still pick it up!

If you have any high street conditioner recommendations let me know in the comments!
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Sunday, 25 November 2012

Sunday DIY: Book Paper Christmas Trees

book tree diy

There are several ways to make paper tress for Christmas but this is my favourite one. I decided to use book pages but you could also use sheet music, wrapping papers, magazines or even just plain paper.

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To make your own trees you will need - an old book, scissors, flower pots/buckets, wooden skewers/cocktail sticks, floral foam, a knife & any ribbons etc for decoration

Tip! If you don't have any old books your willing to cut up you can pick one up from a charity shop like I did, this one was 10p.

book tree diy

The first thing you need to do is cut your squares. Tear out some pages from the book and start by cutting your largest square, then decrease the size slightly and cut out some more. Continue cutting squares until you think you have enough. There is no set amount of squares you will need, it all depends on how big you want to make your trees so experiment a little with different sizes.

Tip! Use pattern scissors to give a nice effect to the edges.

book tree diy

Then take your skewer or cocktail stick and starting with the largest ones
pierce through the squares one at a time and move them down onto the stick. Continue until you have used up all of your squares or are happy with the size.

book tree diy

To display the paper trees I have used some basic flower pots and also this mini metal bucket. 
Cut a piece of your floral foam which fits snug inside the top of the pot and push the skewer/cocktail stick down into it as central as you can.

Tip! If your tree is larger and therefore slightly heavier you may need to pop a stone in the bottom of the pot just to keep it from falling over. I didn't find that I needed to do so for these sizes though.

book tree diy

If you like you can add something like a bead to the top of the tree or tie a festive ribbon around the pot to finish it off.

Will you be making your own decorations this year?
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Thursday, 22 November 2012

Christmas Nails #1 - Trees!

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I know it isn't December yet but with Christmas gift guides and tags popping up all over blogs and YouTube videos I decided that its time for some Christmas nail art! I had this particular Christmas nail art idea over a month ago and I've been eagarly waiting for it to be an acceptable time to show it to you. Back in April I used a similar technique (as seen on The Beauty Department) to create bunting nails and when I was trying to think of some different designs for Christmas it occured to me that the matte sellotape could come in handy once again!

christmas tree nails tutorial
 
To create this design you will need - a light base colour polish, a shimmery green polish, a glitter polish and/or flakie polish, a brown polish, a topcoat, matte sticky tape, a cocktail stick or dotting tool, scissors and mini star sequins
  • First take a strip of your tape, paint it with your green shade and leave it to dry
  • Whilst you are waiting paint your nails with a clear basecoat followed by an opaque coat of your lightest colour
  • When both are dry take your scissors and cut a triangle shape from the painted sticky tape and place it in the centre of the nail
  • Next you need to decorate your tree using the glitter and/or flakies. You can easily pick up individual pieces from the polish using a dotting tool or cocktail stick and place them onto the green area
  • Once you're happy with the decoration of the tree you can take your brown polish and give the tree a trunk
  • Then take your star sequin and add a blob of clear polish to secure it onto the top of the tree
  • Finish with a thick layer of clear topcoat to seal it all onto the nail

What do you think of my Christmas tree nails?
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Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Weekly Style Inspiration #85

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Skull Joggers £25, ALSO Pull On Metal Toe Boots £80, Velvet Shorts in Green £32 : Topshop
Beige Penguin Print T-Shirt £12 : River Island
Military Shirt £19.99 : Pull & Bear
Faux Fur Bear Hat £4 : ASDA

Another brief Weekly Style post for you today as I am still planning on re-vamping the 'style' posts here at e-elise etc. I've decided to leave them for now though and start fresh in the new year!

Which items have caught your eye this week?
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Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Nails Inc Victoria

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 Nails Inc Victoria 

Described by Nails Inc as a 'deep cherry red' Victoria is the perfect red/black shade I had been searching for this Autumn. When the aisles of Boots and Superdrug both failed to present me with a shade like this I turned to eBay and picked this up for just £5, a substantial amount less than the RRP of £11. Like I've said previously I'm not really into choosing my polish shades according to the seasons but again if you are then this is a great one for A/W.

I did find that whilst I loved how this looked on my nails it was particularly difficult to do it justice when trying to capture it on camera due to the super glossy finish as shown by the reflection marks in the photograph above. If I had to pick a fault with their creme formula surprisingly enough this would be it as I'm not crazy about the amount of shine although I know that is part of the appeal for a lot of people. If you're someone who likes your polishes to shine even without a topcoat then I would suggest trying any Nails Inc creme shade as I've found they all tend to have that super glossy finish.

On a more positive note I was pleased to find that this polish lasted very well on my nails. I applied a clear base coat and two coats of Victoria followed by my go-to topcoat; Sally Hansen's Insta-Dri and had no issues with chipping at all for the first 6 days. I ended up keeping the polish on for about 10 days and even then I still only had a few minor chips which I think is very impressive. Although I personally get on well with the creme formula Jaz reviewed this same shade with less pleasing results with chipping after 3/4 days.

Personally I have never paid full price for a Nails Inc polish because I do think they are rather expensive and as you know I'm a big fan of Topshop's polish range which priced at between £5-7 I think are much better value. Having said that I do rate the quality of Nails Inc so I would recommend keeping an eye out for their regular collaborations with magazines and of course Diet Coke.

What do you think of Nails Inc polishes?
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Sunday, 18 November 2012

Sunday DIY: Christmas Giftwrap With Homemade Stamps

hand stamped gift wrap

Today's DIY is the first of my Christmas themed series which will be running every Sunday from now until December 23rd. For the first project in this series I've chosen a really simple idea which is super cheap and only takes minutes to make - DIY stamps. 
These are great all year round, especially the pencil ones, but are also perfect for creating your own wrapping paper and gift tags for your Christmas presents. 
Read to on to find out how to make your own!
 
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All you will need is an eraser, a pen & a craft knife.
There are really only two steps to this DIY and the first is to draw out your design onto the eraser.
I would recommend starting with something simple just to get used to cutting the erasers, then once you've mastered it you can try out more intricate designs!
 
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 diy stamps2 

The second step is to use a craft knife to cut out the areas of your design that you do not want the ink to pick up. You should then be ready to stamp away!
Use an ink pad or even just a pen to colour onto it (for this example I used a black gel pen) and get stamping! For the wrapping paper I chose to use basic brown paper which is cheap and really easy to get hold of.
 
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I also made my own tags using some plain coloured card and patterned scissors. For this tag I used my holly leaf stamp and then an uncut pencil eraser (plain circle) for the berries.
 
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I added a silver ribbon to the holly tag and then for my tree design I used a star sequin to finish it off and make it a little more festive, but you can be as creative as you like.
So those are my gift wrapping ideas for this Christmas, don't forget to email or tweet me a photo if you try out this DIY!

Will you be making your own wrapping paper and tags this Christmas?
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Friday, 16 November 2012

Bunny Birthday!

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Sorry to any bunny haters out there (how can you hate those adorable little noses?!) but today's post is a Squidge, aka Scout, appreciation special as she has just turned one! 
We brought her home back in February when we went out with the intention of buying a treadmill and came home with a tiny bunny instead! A much better investment if you ask me. 
She's pretty tricky to capture on camera as unlike Sawyer she doesn't pose for photographs but I've managed to find these few non-blurry to show off her cuteness and how she has grown over the last nine months. Oh, and if you're wondering, we never did get that treadmill...
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Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Multi Dot Nails

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Revlon Colorstay Bare Bones, Nails Inc Mortcomb Street, China Glaze Foie Gras, Topshop Tidal
 (again, please excuse the state of my fingers - they've been struck down with eczema!)
 
After picking up Revlon's Bare Bones polish and finding that it didn't quite suit my skin tone I decided that it would make the perfect neutral base for some nail art instead. I also realised that I've never done a polka dots nails post so I decided to go ahead and use my dotting tools.
I personally didn't really like the finished result, its not very me. I removed these straight after taking the photos but I do like the combination of these four shades so maybe I'll use them again for a future nail art design.

What are your favourite colour combinations for polka dots?
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Monday, 12 November 2012

Fortnight In Photos #6

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Felt owl for a homemade birthday card / I have a gluten free soy sauce addiction... / New nail polish storage / "Hi Erin, we're super cute!" Yes bunnies, yes you are. / Tasty drink from M&S / Journaling time / Currently reading / Back to blonde! / Present wrapping / This fortnight's DIYs - doily dreamcatcher & felt envelopes / Bunny socks!
 
Also this fortnight:
- I learnt that the bunnies can jump a lot higher without a run up than I thought, so high that we had to make thier gate taller because they kept jumping over it...
- I posted my first review over at Blogger's Bookshelf based on one of my all time favourite films and now books; About A Boy. My second review goes up this Wednesday and is all about Darren Shan's new book Zom-B so make sure you keep an eye out for that!
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Sunday, 11 November 2012

Sunday DIY: Doily Dreamcatcher

dreamcatcher diy

This week's DIY is a doily dreamcatcher which I have been working on for a while. I'd seen images of this style made with doily centres and knew that I wanted to make my own to hang on the wall in my new workspace. The best thing about these is that once you have made the basic dreamcatcher you can always keep adding to it if you find any new beads, feathers, ribbons or charms.

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You will need a hoop to use as the base of your dreamcatcher, I purchased this metal one on eBay after not being able to find anything similar in the shops. I chose to use two different coloured wools to cover my hoop and tied square knots to create the textured design. Once you have covered the whole hoop you are ready to add the doily to the centre.

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I didn't make my doily as I can't actually crochet so my mum made this one for me to use (thanks mum!). You can buy a doily online here and here or if you want to make your own but don't know how you can find some great tutorials on YouTube or on craft blogs.
To add it to the dreamcatcher I attached thin threads to each of the points and then one by one tied these onto the hoop. As you can see this stretches out the doily and makes it look much more like a web. The most difficult part is trying to get it central but I don't think with this particular style it needs to be perfect, mine definitely isn't!

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The final step is to decorate your dreamcatcher by adding strings, beads and feathers or whatever else you want to embellish it with. I used a mixture of wools, ribbon, lace, twine, beads, and feathers but like I said earlier you can always add on new bits as you find them.
 To attach the strings I just knotted them onto the hoop so they are easy to move around and are also easy to remove if you decided you don't like them or want to change your colour scheme. You can also add beads to the doily centre, something which I may do with mine in the future.

I know its probably a little too early to be talking Christmas for some of you but next Sunday I will be posting the first in my series of festive DIYs. The series will cover various Christmas decorations and ideas and the first instalment is all about DIY giftwrapping using homemade stamps. I hope you will all be back next Sunday for the next DIY!
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Saturday, 10 November 2012

Journal Update #4

Journal Page
Journal Pages
Journal Pages

I haven't done one of these posts in over a year (!) as I've been neglecting my Keri Smith journals a little bit. These definitely aren't the best pages I've completed but some of my previous ones have been quite popular on Pinterest so I thought it was about time to show a few more. 
Any of the journals would also make amazing Christmas presents if you're looking for ideas!

Do you have any of the Keri Smith journals?
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Thursday, 8 November 2012

A Guide To Bargain Books.

bargain books guide

Since I've been posting more about books with the 2012 Reading Challenge and have also recently started a book blog I've received comments from people who say they would love to read more but just can't afford to buy books. Personally I pretty much never buy full price books so I was inspired by these comments to create a little guide for the best places to find a good book bargain. A lot of the information will probably be quite obvious but there may be something you hadn't thought of before and I hope you find it helpful!
bargain books guide library

The obvious place to start would be libraries! If you're someone who likes to read a variety of books but doesn't necessarily want to spend money on building your own collection then joining the library is a great solution.

Pros - Its easy and free to join your local library and most towns/cities will have one. They usually have a big selection to choose from covering a wide variety of authors and genres just like you would find at a book shop. Many libraries also now have the option to manage your reservations and renewals online (something I personally find very handy!) which is great if you are unable to actually get to the library on a regular basis. They also offer large print and audio books which a lot of the other suggestions below do not. Some libraries also hold book sales where they sell off older/worn books to make space for new ones which is another opportunity to grab a bargain.

Cons - The biggest con is the time limit you have to read the books especially if you are unable to renew them because they are reserved for other people (aka the bane of my existence recently...). There won't always be a huge selection at smaller libraries and even across the county sometimes they won't have the book you're looking for. However if they don't have the specific book you can request that they buy a copy and whilst this may be subject to a small fee it will generally still be less than buying a copy of the book elsewhere. 

bargain books guide supermarket

Supermarkets can also be a great place to pick up a new book for less than the RRP.

Pros - Most supermarkets offer deals, usually things like two for £7 which is good considering a lot of paperbacks have an RRP of £7.99. They also offer popular titles such as recent film adaptations at low prices, for example The Hunger Games trilogy at under £4 each. I also recently picked up Lauren Oliver's Pandemonium for only £3.86 (cheaper than online) and it came with a free copy of the previous book in the series Delirium - this deal is exclusive to Tesco but also counted as just one book in their two for £7 deal! Another great thing about buying books at the supermarket is that you can pick them up along with your weekly food shop!

Cons - Of course supermarkets are primarily selling foods so they don't usually have a big selection of titles to choose from, but as mentioned earlier they often have popular titles and recent film/tv adaptations. Supermarkets can also be more expensive than some of the other ideas I've mentioned below but if you like to buy books new rather than used then they can be a good option.
 
bargain books guide charity shop

Charity Shops are a great place to find a book bargain, in fact half of my collection must have been purchased from them and I always have a peek at the book sections whenever I'm passing by.

Pros - The best part about picking up your books from charity shops is that not only can they be really cheap but you're also giving your money to a good cause. Charity shops are particularly good for finding recent film adaptations and things which have been popular over the last year or so but you can also find some more rare or out of print editions like the 1930s Grimm Fairy Tales one I picked up recently (pictured above). Some charity shops will have offers, ones I have seen include - 5 paperbacks for £1, buy one get one free hardbacks and 10p 'bargain boxes'. Of course the books on sale are donations so whats available changes all the time which could be seen as a negative but I like seeing lots of different books each time I visit, you never know what you're going to find!

Cons - They're not always that cheap, some shops (I won't name names!) charge £3/4 for a used book which even though the money is going to charity is fairly expensive if the book isn't in the best condition. Personally I'd much rather spend the money in a different charity shop & pick up a few more books for my money, but generally they are still cheaper than the RRP. Obviously like with any charity shop shopping whats available is down to chance and they won't always have what you're looking for so its not always a good option if you want a specific book. 

bargain books guide 3 for 5

If you prefer to buy new books rather than used The Works chain of stationery and book shops run a great 3 for £5 deal with a variety of titles to choose from.

Pros - Even though the books are 3 for £5 they are actually all only £1.99 each to begin with which is great if you just want one to complete a set or try a genre you may not normally go for. Surprisingly they actually have quite a good selection although I have found that each store I have visited has had different books available. Sometimes you can pick up a whole series (like I did with the Chaos Walking trilogy) which for only £5 on books that have RRPs of around £7.99 each is a really good deal.

Cons - Although they do have some complete sets they don't have every book for all of the series they offer, for example I picked up Pretties, Specials & Extras there but I have never seen Uglies for sale in any Works store I've visited. As mentioned before each store seems to have different books and some don't have as wide selection as others.
 
bargain books guide kindle

Those of you who own a Kindle can also sign up for the Kindle Daily Deal emails which let you know which book is on offer each day for one day only. All of the books shown in the photograph above cost only 99p either via the Daily Deal offer or the Summer sale, except for Jane Eyre which is available for free. Although I haven't gotten around to reading any of these ones yet I like to purchase them whilst they are on offer and save them up for later!

Pros - The Daily Deal offer can be hit and miss but it will often offer fairly large savings such as £4-5. As I mentioned above you can sign up for a daily email which lets you know which book is on offer each day and for how much, which means you don't have to check the website to find out.

Cons - I have managed to pick up a handful of titles via the deal however day to day the books on offer aren't usually ones that I'm personally interested in as they do provide such a wide variety. The most obvious con for this option is that these deals are only available for Kindle users which is a shame because Amazon don't seem to offer such frequent discounts like this on paperbacks/hardbacks.

Other ideas
  • Car Boot/Jumble Sales - If you're lucky you can find some major bargains at these sales and if you're brave enough you can haggle with the sellers too! Of course its very hit and miss, you may go to one and find there are no stalls with books and like anything at boot fairs it will be luck whether you find what you want or not.
  • 'Books For Free' Shops - These shops always have lots to choose from and instead of pricing each book you just donate what you can. They can be a great place to find out of print and unusual titles but you will have to have a good rummage! The books aren't generally in very good condition and there won't usually be that many recent titles (not necessarily a con, it depends what you're looking for). Some also have limits on how many books you can take so don't be too greedy!
  • Playtrade - If you like to buy your books online don't just go straight to Amazon, check other sites such as the Playtrade section on Play.com you'll often find a bargain there too!
  • Market Stalls - Some markets have book stalls where you can pick up well-known titles at cheaper prices but again, they may not always have what you're looking for.
  • Swap With Friends - This is a great way to read lots of different books, plus when you've finished you can discuss and share your thoughts on them with your friend!
Where do you get your books?
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Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Weekly Style Inspiration 84.

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Petites Chunky Fairisle Jumper £42, Maveriq Tartan Stud Slippers £32 : Topshop
Illamasqua Polish Duo in Glitterati & Viridian £24 : ASOS
Chinty & Parker Boxy Cardigan £270 : Trilogy
Lapel Neck Green Shirt $31.99/£20 : Romwe
Caroline Skirt £50 : Monki 
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Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Revlon Colorstay in Bare Bones

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This is the second of my two purchases from the Revlon Colorstay range. This shade is actually quite an unusual choice for me but after recently discovering how much I love OPI's Skull & Glossbones I decided to pick it up. I've been keen to find another light neutral shade which I would be able to wear in the same way as Skull & Glossbones; not only as a base coat for nail art but also alone without looking washed out next to my skin tone.

Unfortunately Bare Bones has a little too much beige and not enough grey to work for me right now. You probably won't be able to tell from the photo but I suffer from eczema on my hands and the beige tone of this polish just makes my dry skin look redder especially now that its cold outside. I think I'll give Bare Bones a second chance once my hands aren't so dry.
As for the formula I would say its fairly good, not as nice as Rain Forest as being a lighter, creme shade it was a little more streaky on application. It did however only take two coats to get the colour opaque which is very reasonable for a shade as light as this. I can't comment on how well the polish lasts on the nails though as I didn't keep it on for long enough to find out!

What is your favourite neutral polish?
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Monday, 5 November 2012

Blogger's Bookshelf Needs Your Help!

Our first Blogger's Bookshelf group collaboration post is scheduled to go live on Saturday 24th November and we need your input to make it a success. We are hoping to get as many people involved as possible – these posts are an opportunity for our regulars, guests and readers to get involved in the discussion!

Since it is the first post in the series Ria and I have chosen to go for a relatively easy topic – Favourite Genre!

If you would like to be involved in the post we would like you to email, tweet us or leave a comment on this post with the following information by the 21st November at the latest.

-the name of your favourite book genre

- a short sentence about why you love that particular genre or how you became a fan of it

- between 1 and 3 books you would recommend from the genre 
 (but no more than 3 please as we want to be able to fit in everyone’s answers!)

- (optional) your blog/twitter name so we can link back to you in the post

Email - bloggersbookshelf@gmail.com
Tweet - @blog_bookshelf

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We hope to hear from you soon!
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Sunday, 4 November 2012

Sunday DIY: Felt Envelopes

diy felt envelope

After a whole month of Halloween themed DIYs today's is something a little different. I really love these felt envelopes and the good news is they are super quick and easy to make once you have your template. A cute twist on your average paper envelope they are great way to package cards and small gifts, they may even be one to bookmark for Christmas presents! 
 
diy felt envelope

To make your own felt envelope you will need - a piece of felt (A4 for a standard sized envelope), pins, an unwanted envelope or printed envelope template, a glue gun, a pen, scissors, a needle, thread and buttons
 
diy felt envelope

Firstly you need to open out your envelope, place it onto the felt and draw around it.

Tip! If you don't have an envelope to use you can easily find a printable template online.
 
diy felt envelope

Next you'll need to neatly cut out your envelope shape. I added a little length to the side tabs to make it easier to stick together but this isn't necessary, it just depends on the shape of your original template.
diy felt envelope

Then take a few pins, fold up the envelope and pin it in place. This is just to make sure you have it lined up properly before you stick it together.
 
diy felt envelope

Take your glue gun and draw a line of glue along the side tab and stick together. Repeat this on the other side and your basic envelope is complete!

Tip! You don't have to use a glue gun for this step - it is just the easiest and quickest way. If you want to you can sew the envelope together or use a fabric glue instead. 
 
diy felt envelope

Stitch on your buttons, one to the main body of the envelope and one to the top flap. Leave a longer thread on one of them so that once you've popped your card or gift inside you can wrap it around the buttons to keep the envelope closed.

Will you be making some felt envelopes? Don't forget to tweet or email me a photo if you do!
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Saturday, 3 November 2012

Revlon Colorstay in Rain Forest

revlon rain forest 5

revlon rain forest0

rain forest revlon
 
Rain Forest is a mid green based polish with a green glitter that shows slightly gold/blue in different lights. I'm not really one for choosing my nail colours by the season and being a green this is a polish I would wear all year round, however if you are into your seasonal shades I do think it is also very Christmas appropriate. The polish applies really nicely and evenly and takes two coats to get the colour opaque. It also lasts fairly well on the nails with only a few major chips after a week's wear so overall I am pretty impressed.

The Revlon Colorstay range is available on the Boots website however I couldn't track it down in any stores so ended up buying on eBay from a US seller instead. I would recommend looking around for swatches of the polishes before placing an order as the images on the Boots website don't give an accurate idea of the shades - for example it gives no indication that Rain Forest has any shimmer to it. I also picked up another shade which I will be posting about next week so keep an eye out for that if you are interested in the Colorstay range.

Have you tried the Revlon Colorstay polishes?
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