Sunday, 31 March 2013

Sunday DIY: A Bracelet Of Rings

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If you'd like to make a more uniform bracelet why not pick up a pack of H&M's stackable rings to use instead?
& if you want your rings back? - it's just as easy to take apart as it is to put together!

As always I'd love to hear from you if you try out this or any other project from my DIY Archive. If you have any DIY requests or challenges for me to try please leave them in the comments below!

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Thursday, 28 March 2013

March Review Roundup

march reviews
Images via Goodreads

Today I'm introducing a new format I'm trying out to replace my monthly reads posts. Rather than telling you about a couple of books I wasn't inspired to write full reviews on each month I have decided to use the slot more as a list of links to any book and film reviews I have published over the month. 
 I have also recently set up an entertainment review blog to house all of my review posts from this blog, Blogger's Bookshelf and to publish original content like the Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight review found below.

Some of you have said that you would like to see more book and film reviews here at e-elise etc so if you are interested in reading my reviews you can now follow Chalkboard Reviews on Bloglovin' here!

This month's reviews...
The Culling, Steven dos Santos (2013)
The first in a new YA dystopian series named The Torch Keeper this book introduces a Hunger Games-esque world where selected teens are forced to compete against each other to be recruited by a government known as the Establishment. The stakes are high as each recruit has two 'incentives' who will be brutally murdered if they fail to complete their training exercises - click here for review   

Hadley is headed to London to be a guest at her father's wedding to a woman she has never met when she narrowly misses her flight and gets stuck at the airport. There she meets Oliver who is also flying back to London for a family event and we follow their story over the next twenty-four hours - click here for review 

If You Find Me, Emily Murdoch (2013) 
A fantastic debut YA novel which follows the story of Carey, a young girl who is disrupted from her sheltered life in the woods when she is dropped back into the real world to live with a new family. Years ago Carey was abducted by her mother but now she must face the truth about what happened to her in the woods on the 'white star night' - click here for review 

Mila 2.0, Debra Driza (2013
The first in another new dystopian science fiction series, Mila 2.0 centres around a girl who discovers that she is in fact not a normal teenager but an android. She is part of a military experiment in artificial intelligence and was stolen from a lab by the woman she calls her mother. Now her creators want her back, but they aren't the only ones who want to capture Mila and suddenly she finds herself on the run - click here for review 

Plus...

The Lowdown On Upcoming YA Adaptations 
 Lots of popular YA books/series are in the process of being adapted for both the big & small screens so I collected together some of the details on Divergent, The Fault In Our Stars, Delirium, The Maze Runner, Mila 2.0, The Selection & Vampire Academy - click here to read more 

I have now read 16/52 books towards my 2013 reading challenge - find me on Goodreads here

What have you read/reviewed in March?
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Wednesday, 27 March 2013

S/S Trend - Pastel Jackets

pastel jackets high street fashion 2013

 Pastel shades always start appearing at this time of year and whilst I usually would have opted to feature some dresses, tops or skirts so I chose to go for something a little different and focus on jackets, which as you can see are easy to find all over the high street right now.

Go Bold - H&M have a lot of options for a bolder pastel look including both the yellow and mint green jackets above both costing less than £30

Keep It Subtle - If you're afraid to go for a full-on pastel look the striped boucle jacket by Miss Selfridge incorporates pastels in a subtle, more wearable way. If a classic fit is what you're looking for the blush blazer from Dorothy Perkins could be a perfect wardrobe update

Twist On A Classic - Mango offers some great options which combine elements of classic pieces with more spring appropriate shades. The light blue and pink jackets are just updates of wardrobe staple biker jackets in denim and suede rather than the classic leather

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Will you be wearing pastels this season?
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Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Five Favourites - LUSH

5 favourites LUSH

1. Retread Conditioner £9.95 for 245g - My all time favourite conditioner would have to be Retread and I have mentioned it here a few times before. Although labelled a 'heavy' conditioner I find that it doesn't unnecessarily weigh down my long hair. It does however leave it feeling super soft and smelling delicious for days! Find my full review here
 
2. Eyes Right Mascara £12 for 5g - Eyes Right is the only mascara I've found that doesn't irritate my sensitive eyes so when I first discovered it back in January I threw out all of the others I owned. As mentioned in my review post Eyes Right is wheatgrass based with natural ingredients, contains conditioning vitamins and minerals and only one preservative (apparently its the multiple preservatives in mascaras that can cause irritation). The packaging isn't amazing but I'd rather than deal with that small issue than sore eyes everyday. Find my full review here

3. Dream Cream £10.95 for 240g - I suffer from eczema on my hands so I couldn't resist trying out LUSH's number one product Dream Cream which is designed to be suitable for even the most sensitive skins. Amongst other things it contains oat milk which is supposed to be good for treating eczema. Although it hasn't performed any miracles in clearing up my eczema completely it does help to sooth dry patches and heal any infected areas when applied overnight. Recently I have been sandwiching a layer of L'Occitane shea butter hand cream between layers of Dream Cream overnight and my eczema has dramatically improved.

4. Bubblegum Lip Scrub £5.25 for 5g - This was actually the first LUSH product I purchased (just under a year ago!) and I guess is the reason I went back to try more. I love the scent of this scrub and it does a great job of removing any dry skin. Although people often comment that it is overpriced since is simple to make your own lip scrub, these little tubs will last you ages making the price much more justifiable.

5. Let The Good Times Roll (currently unavailable) - A cleanser and gentle exfoliater in one, I couldn't resist picking this up because of it's amazing cinnamon scent. You hardly need to use any product so the tub lasts for a really long time even if you use it several times a week and it does a good job of leaving your skin soft.

Honourable mention: Seanik Solid Shampoo Bar £5.25 for 55g - Although I couldn't include it in my top 5 as it does irritate my scalp, I use Seanik through the lengths of my hair (teamed with a liquid shampoo just on the very roots) on a regular basis. It gives a super squeaky clean result, more so than any liquid shampoo I've ever used and is great value for money as it lasts much longer than a bottle of shampoo. It also smells amazing and leaves my hair feeling very light and therefore easier to manage.

What are your favourite LUSH products?
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Sunday, 24 March 2013

Sunday DIY: Rainbow Cupcakes

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This week I have another baking DIY project in the form of these fun rainbow cupcakes! These would be great to make for a party or as a gift and are very simple to make.
 
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- Start with your basic cake mixture and divide it into six cups, one for each colour

- Add colouring to each cup and mix well so that the colour is even
 
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- Fill your cake cases with thin layers one colour at a time starting with purple and ending with red

- Bake according to your cake recipe and once cooled decorate however you wish.
 I kept it simple using basic white icing and some rainbow sprinkles 
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Have you tried any rainbow baking?
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Thursday, 21 March 2013

The Lowdown On Upcoming YA Adaptations

film and tv adaptations
Images via Goodreads

Following the success of films such as The Hunger Games adaptation just over a year ago and the growing popularity of the genre many more of our favourite YA series are also set to hit the big, and small, screens in the next couple of years. This year already sees the release of Stephenie Meyer’s The Host, Orson Scott-Card’s Ender’s Game, Casandra Clare’s City Of Bones and most recently Beautiful Creatures on the big screen but here are some details on just a few of the other titles set to be adapted soon.

Quite possibly the most talked about is the film adaptation of Veronica Roth’s debut Divergent, the first in a trilogy that follows the journey of Tris Prior as she chooses which faction she will belong to for the rest of her life. As the film is set to begin shooting in Chicago very soon there have been a lot of interesting casting announcements popping up in recent weeks. Firstly Shailene Woodley was cast as main character Tris Prior followed by the announcements that Zoe Kravitz will play Christina, Tris’ best friend in the Dauntless faction, Nikita star Maggie Q will portray Dauntless member Tori and Ansel Elgort is set to play Tris’ Erudite brother Caleb. There are also speculation that Oscar winner Kate Winslet has been offered a role and although rumours suggest she will portray Erudite leader Jeanine Matthews this has not yet been confirmed. The most anticipated casting news however is that Brit actor Theo James will portray Dauntless member and Tris’ love interest Four.

Also on the cards is a 2014 film version of The Maze Runner by James Dashner which was released back in 2009. The story centres around a group of boys , the ‘Gladers’ who are trapped in a maze as part of some form of experiment. The boys don’t know how they got there or why they were chosen but they know that they are meant to find a way to escape. There hasn’t yet been a lot of confirmed news for this project although IMDB has British actors Will Poulter, Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Aml Ameen listed as cast members. The website originally had Poulter listed as main character Thomas but that has since been altered and now states that he will play Gally. The film will be directed by Wes Ball best known for his work in art departments and visual effects.

The popular Vampire Academy series of novels by Richelle Mead are also coming to the big screen. Personally I don’t know a lot about this series but from what I understand it centres around a boarding school where vampires are trained to protect magic and half-human teens. Reports state that Zoey Deutch, star of another YA adaptation Beautiful Creatures, will play main character Rose. Interestingly Mark Waters who is famous for his work on Mean Girls amongst other things has signed on to direct.

A big screen adaptation of John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars arguably the most talked about YA release of 2012 is also in the works. The film is set to be directed by Josh Boone who’s only previous directing credit is 2012’s Stuck In Love which he also wrote the screenplay for. There have been rumours about Oscar nominee Hailee Steinfeld auditioning for the role of Hazel Grace but nothing has been confirmed as yet. *Edit - the same day this post was published (on BB) it was announced that Shailene Woodley will portray Hazel Grace


In addition there are also projects set to hit the small screen this year most notably Lauren Oliver’s Delirium series. The books are set in a world where love is considered a disease and at the hands of the government teens are ‘cured’ with an operation. Emma Roberts has officially been cast to play protagonist Lena alongside Jeanine Mason as best friend Hana, Daren Kagasoff as Alex and Gregg Sulkin as Julian. The pilot episode is set to condense the entirety of the trilogy’s first novel coupled with some character changes which will make for interesting viewing for fans of the series.

Kiera Cass’ The Selection, a story about a girl chosen by a ‘lottery’ to compete for the affections of Prince Maxon, is set to air on The CW, the network who successfully adapted the Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl books and now The Carrie Diaries, later this year. So far there are several names on board to star including Anthony Head as the King.

Debra Driza’s debut novel Mila 2.0 which isn’t actually released until the end of March is already set for an ABC adaptation with Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes and her producing partner Betsy Beers on board both as executive producers. Mila 2.0 follows the story of a teen who discovers that she is in fact an android created by the military as an experiment in artificial intelligence. As yet there has been no casting news but with Rhimes and Beers on board the project has a lot of potential for success. I was actually lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of the book - if you are interested and would like to find out more about Mila 2.0 click here to read my review.

So that’s it for my wrap up on upcoming YA adaptations. I am hoping to review the pilot episodes of both Delirium and The Selection (on Blogger's Bookshelf) when they air as well as Mila 2.0 if the project goes ahead, so keep an eye out for those later in the year. I’m sure I will be reviewing some of both the 2013 and 2014 film releases too.

Don’t forget to leave a comment below letting me know which adaptation you are most excited for!
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Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Topshop Holographic Nail Polish in Winterfrost

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topshop holographic nail polish winterfrost
Topshop Nails in Winterfrost £6
 
I'd been wanting to add a holographic polish to my ever-growing collection for a while but they never seemed to be that readily available on the high street. As a fan of Topshop's polish range in general (great quality and value for money) I was pleased to see them introduce three holo shades straight into their permanent collection.
Winterfrost is a classic silver holo polish which applies just like any other silver polish however the holo effect starts to show as it dries and really comes to life in the light. As far as I can tell the quality seems to be comparable to other topshop shades/finishes which I think is impressive as in the past I have heard a lot of negative reviews on the staying power of holo polishes.
As well as Winterfrost Topshop also have a light pink holo named Wistful and a light blue one named Moondance. Personally I would prefer them to bring out a darker shade - a black or navy holo would be perfect for me! 

Since I'm always mixing shades to use for nail art projects I thought I would try making my own shade using Winterfrost and a black polish. As you may be able to see from the swatch photos (holo is tricky to capture!) it is definitely possible to use this polish as a mixer just like any other to give a more subtle holographic glitter finish to a creme polish.

Do you like the holographic polish trend?
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Monday, 18 March 2013

Mila 2.0

*Review of an eARC c/o Netgalley

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Image via Goodreads
 
The story opens with Mila trying to cope with the death of her father in a fire she can’t remember. Mila and her mother have moved to Clearwater, a small town where nothing much really happens. She lives on a farm, rides horses, goes to school and hangs out with her friends just like any other 16 year old until one day she has an accident and her world is turned upside down when the truth is revealed.

In the book description we learn that Mila is an android, built in a lab as part of a military experiment in artificial intelligence. Mila however doesn’t learn this until around 10-20% into the story. Although I didn’t dislike the initial setup, getting to know Mila’s daily life, her mother and her friends on reflection it does feel like quite a slow starter considering the blurb already gives away this twist. From that point onwards however it is mainly action sequence after action sequence with Mila learning about her creation and her android abilities along the way. Naturally such a life-changing discovery completely changes Mila’s world and she struggles to come to terms with the truth whilst also having to be on the run and leave behind the life she was building for herself back in Clearwater.

At times I found it a bit difficult to keep up with all of the action, there were several different locations to take in with the fast-paced descriptions meant I really needed to pay attention. Unfortunately I did start to get a little bored and lose interest at times however I don’t believe that this was down to the writing style or the overall pacing, possibly just the action upon action getting slightly tiring. Due to the ‘on the run’ nature of the story the secondary characters felt underdeveloped as the reader isn’t granted that much time to get to know them. (Aside from his ‘lopsided smile’ that is mentioned far too many times what do we really know about Hunter?!) Hopefully the reason for this is that Mila 2.0 is set to be the first in a trilogy leaving plenty of time to fill in the gaps in the later novels. To me it felt like certain comments about some of the secondary characters were potentially little hints to things we may discover in the series’ future books although I will have to wait to find out if I’m right!

The premise of the book was intriguing and had some unique (science-fiction) selling points to make it stand out among the sea of YA dystopian series but overall I did feel like something was lacking from Mila 2.0. Whether it was the personalities of the secondary characters, more scenes that didn’t involve action or something else I’m just not sure but I still think there is a lot of potential in this series and am planning to continue with it. Although Mila 2.0 did leave me a little disappointed it is a fairly fun and fast-paced, action-packed read with a refreshing twist on a popular premise that I would recommend to fans of the genre.

 3stars

Mila 2.0 is available now in hardback and is released for Kindle on 26/3/13
Find Mila 2.0 on Goodreads
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Sunday, 17 March 2013

Sunday DIY: Zip Bracelet

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Customise - You can also embellish the bracelets by adding charms to the zip!

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Thursday, 14 March 2013

High Street vs. High End - Printed Trousers


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HIGH END PRINTED TROUSERS

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Printed trousers are everywhere for S/S 2013 so today I'm taking a look at what's on offer from both high street and designer labels. 

The high street stores have a huge range of colours and patterns embracing the printed trouser trend from aztec to floral in both monochrome and brights there is a style for everyone who wants to take on this look for S/S. H&M have released a really affordable range including a variety of different prints like the two shown above (aztec & floral). As usual Topshop are on trend with a range of styles again including this very bold floral pair and a more subtle navy/grey wavy striped pair which are my favourite of the eight above. If you're looking for a real statement pair then the ASDA Graduate Fashion Week pair may be the perfect choice.

Of course designer brands are also offering a wide range of patterns and colours including florals, neon, ikat and even fruits as seen on this bold pair by Versace! Zoe Jordan and Chloe have the more subtle styles down with their light and neutral shades featuring more faint patterns and luxury silk fabrics.
When it comes to printed trousers I personally think the high street is wins but which are your favourites?

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Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Bunny Snapshots #3

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Now that the sunshine is making an appearance again I was lucky enough to get both bunnies to pose for me - Squidge is learning!
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Sunday, 10 March 2013

Sunday DIY: Denim & Check Mix Shirt

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Since today is Mother's Day today I have teamed up with my mum for this week's Sunday DIY!
Denim & check mixed shirts have been popping up all over the high street and I really love the trend so I thought it would be perfect for a collaborative DIY project.

My mum put this one together using an old denim waistcoat and a mens shirt we picked up at a local jumble but you could also pick up two shirts and swap the sleeves over to create two mix and match shirts in one go!

All you need to do is carefully remove the sleeves from your check shirt and pin them into place. Then you can either sew them on using a machine or by hand, whichever you prefer. Tidy up by trimming any excess fabric from around the armholes on the inside of the shirt and you're done!

If you want to customise the shirt further you can always add a check pocket (as shown above), a check collar or even some stud detail.
 
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I hope you've enjoyed this week's DIY!
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Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Five Favourites: Movie Inspired Nail Polish

movie inspired nail polish

OPI Skull & Glossbones / Pirates Of The Carribean - a light grey neutral shade that's perfect for everyday wear (review here)

China Glaze Smoke & Ashes / The Hunger Games - my go-to dark shade that is quick drying and opaque in just one coat (review here)

OPI Live & Let Die / Skyfall - an almost black green with gold glitter that lasts well without chipping (review here)

OPI Number One Nemesis / The Amazing Spider-Man - my favourite metallic shade packed with micro glitter (review here)

China Glaze Agro / The Hunger Games - the perfect shimmery green which also looks great paired with a matte topcoat (review here)

Which movie themed polishes or collections are your favourite?
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Sunday, 3 March 2013

Sunday DIY: Tinted Glass Jars

diy tinted glass jars

I'd been saving these glass jars up for a DIY project and this week I found the perfect one in the form of this tutorial on momtastic.com. (via Pinterest) which uses food colouring for the tint!
The steps below are my version of this (rather messy!) DIY...

You will need - glass jars, Mod Podge, food colouring, water, cocktail sticks, plastic tubs, greaseproof paper, a baking tray & an oven!

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I hope you've enjoyed this week's DIY, if you have any questions let me know. As always I'd love to hear from you if you try out this or any other project from my DIY Archive.

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