November 19, 2015

Rented Flat Decorating Tips

Having lived in a rented flat for a number of years, and now owning a flat where we are unable to do anything to it (being a new build we cannot paint or paper for a while in case we cover up any cracks appearing), I know that one if the most difficult things is making the space your own. So here are a few ideas about how to settle in to your place without any major changes;

Image from here (Beautiful apartment as well, check it out!)


I don't know what it is about it, but filling your flat with plants just makes it feel so homely! Our flat is so warm, that we cannot keep anything alive, apart from Succulent plants. Luckily they also happen to be my favourite.

Image from here

Soft Furnishings

It may sound obvious, but adding cushions and rugs, and changing the curtain that came with the flat, can really make a big difference.

Image from here

Removable Wallpaper

If you're planning on staying in your rented place for a long time, and don't mind putting in a little more effort then removable wallpaper is a fantastic idea!

Image from here

Washi tape images up

To add a little more personality into your place, putting images up using washi tape is fun, definitely more exciting then blue tac and also creates less mess!

Image from here

Large Canvases or Boards against the wall (also mirrors)

And if you're feeling a little crazy, then something relatively easy to do is to cover some super large canvases with fabric, or wallpaper some super large boards or pieces of wood covered in wallpaper or just painted. These make such a statements, and give the effect of having paint, or paper but without having to do it.

Gallery Wall

If you can put a few screws up then adding a few picture shelves is a lot more versatile then hanging each picture individually. You can easily change the colours, images or ornaments to suit the different scheme or even your mood!

How have you changed your rented flat ?

November 10, 2015

My 10 Winter Reads

Beautiful imagery from here (@flashesofstyle Instagram)

Autumn is the perfect time to snuggle on the sofa, with snuggly socks, under a blanket and read a book ...

So here are my top Autumn reads, some of them are new, some I am a bit late in the bandwagon but here they are!! Hopefully you find something new to read ...

1. Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey.

Sunday Times Top 10 Bestseller in 2014, Elizabeth is Missing is a story about an elderly woman who has not heard from her friend Elizabeth and is investigating what has happened to her. She feels that it is also connected with the seventy year old crime, of the disappearance of her sister.

Synopsis: Maud's been getting forgetful. She keeps buying peach slices when she has a cupboards full, forget to drink the cups of tea she's made and writes notes to remind herself of things. But Maud is determined to discover what happened to her friend Elizabeth and what is has to do with the unsolved disappearance of her sister Sukey just after the Second World War.

2. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Changed the World by Malala Yousafzai

This is an incredible, inspiring true story about Malala Yousafzai and the fight for girls' education in Pakistan. This is a must read, and I am looking forward to getting stuck in to this book.

Synopsis: When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in the northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize. 'I Am Malala' is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for the girls' education, of the father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons. 'I Am Malala' will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world.

3. Me before You by Jojo Moyes

This book has been called 'A Love Story for this generation'. The story of two people from complete polar opposites who in a twist of fate are thrown together. A tale of love and heart ache, the is a heart breaking love story that I cannot wait to start!

Synopsis: Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming us what keeps her sane. Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that. What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.

4. Spectacles by Sue Perkins

Not a difficult one to explain ... It is Spectacle, a memoir by Sue Perkins. Not a tough decision to put this in my top 10 to read. I love Sue, I think she is hilarious! I love her and Mel, on her own ... I just love her. So I cannot wait to read this!!

Synopsis: When I began writing this book, I went home to see if my mum had kept some of my stuff. What I found was that she hadn't kept some of it. She had kept all of it - every bus ticket, postcard, school report - from the moment I was born to the moment I finally had the confidence to turn round and say 'Why is our house full of this shit?'
Sadly a recycling 'incident' destroyed the bulk of this archive. This has meant two thing: firstly, Dear Reader, you will never get to see countless drawings of wizards, read a poem about corn on the cob, or marvel at the kilos of brown flower I so lovingly pressed as a child. Secondly, it's left me with no choice but to actually write this thing myself.
This, my first ever book, will answer questions such as 'Is Mary Berry real?', 'Is it true you wear a surgical truss?' and 'Is a non-spherically symmetric gravitational pull from outside the observable universe responsible for some of the observed motion of large objects such as galactic clusters in the universe?'
Most of this book is true. I have, of course amplified my more positive characteristics in an effort to make you like me.
Thank you for reading.

5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

A bestselling novel, described as 'The tale of the boy detective with Asperger's Syndrome'. Fifteen year old Christopher lives with his Dad in West London. After being falsely accused of killing his neighbours dog, Christopher decided to investigate. This is such a raved about book, I can't believe I haven't read this already, and am looking forward to reading this one.

Synopsis: Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the colour yellow.
Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, for fifteen year old Christopher everyday interaction and admonishments have little meaning. He lives on patterns, rules and a diagram kept in his pocket. Then one day, a neighbour's dog, Wellington, is killed and his carefully constructive universe is threatened. Christopher sets out to solve the murder in the style of his favourite (logical) detective, Sherlock Holmes. What follows makes for a novel that is funny, poignant and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing are a mind that perceives the world entirely literally.

6. The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

Another Number One Bestseller that I haven't read yet ... have I been living under a rock? I don't think that this one needs any explaining, here is the synopsis!

You Don't know Her. But She Knows You. Rear Window meets Gone Girl, in this exceptional and startling psychological thriller. Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She's even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. 'Jess and Jason', she calls them. Their life - as she sees it - is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It's only a minute until the train moves on, but it's enough. Now everything's changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she's only watched from afar. Now they'll see; she's much more than just the girl on the train ...

7. The Lying Game by Sara Shepard

One of my favourite programmes ever, is 'Pretty Little Liars' created by Sara Shepard, she also writes this series, The Lying Game. There seems like very similar plot lines between The Lying Game and Pretty Little Liars, so if they are any similar then I will love this!

Synopsis: The story is about a girl named Emma Paxton, who comes to believe she has a identical twin sister. She goes on Facebook, and sends a message to the girl, Sutton Mercer. Sutton writes back saying that they need to meet. However, Sutton is actually dead.
The friends believe the Emma is Sutton, and take her to Nisha's party. Nisha is Sutton's archenemies and is always pranked on by her and her friends. Back at Sutton's home, Emma still goes on with the charade as being Sutton. The next morning, Sutton's younger sister Laurel finds a note under her car wiper. She gives the letter to Emma without reading it. The letter says 'Sutton's dead. Tell no one. Keep playing along ... or you're next'. Emma, immediately panicked, goes to the police station to report it, but she is not taken seriously because of Sutton's past pranks and lies. When Emma goes to school, Garret, Sutton's boyfriend, takes that Emma is Sutton like everyone else. Emma begins liking a boy named Ethan. Ethan lives next door and was in love with Sutton.
Emma learns about a game Sutton and her friends play, 'The Lying Game', an elaborate pranking game. Emma also learns that one day that Sutton's friends took it too far, and almost strangled Sutton. Ethan told Emma that he saved Sutton that night that she almost died, so Emma concludes that Sutton died after that incident and anyone could have killed her. Emma runs off with Ethan and she tells him everything and he promises to keep her secret and help her find Sutton's killer. Emma decided to stay and pretend to be Sutton so she can also find out who killed her sister.

8. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus is a story of an ancient dual between two schools of magical knowledge: old and new. During the course the deadly game, two young illusionists fall in love. This book sounds like something that I will absolutely love!! This might have to be the first book that I will be reading from this selection.

Synopsis: The circus arrives without warning/ No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black and white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called 'Le Cirque des Reves,' and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway - and a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their merciful instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love - a deep, magical love that makes the light flicker and the room grown warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

9. The Secret Life Of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

I think this is the only book here that has been personally recommended to me. My sister told me that it is an amazing, inspirational book, and a 'must read'. So here it is on my list, I do not know a lot about this book but from reading the synopsis this sounds amazing!

Synopsis: Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily's fierce-hearted black 'stand-in mother,' Rosaleen, insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to Tiburon, South Carolina - a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. Taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily is introduced to their mesmerising world of bees and honey, and the Black Madonna. This is a remarkable novel about divine female power, a story women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.

10. Two Years, Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie

I am super excited about reading the Night Circus, but I think that this is the book that I am most excited about! I have heard so much about this book before it came out, and I love Salmon Rushdie, he is one of my favourite authors. This book sounds incredible and like something that I will get lost in on my way to work )and probable miss my stop!!)

Synopsis: From one of the greatest writers of our time: the most spellbinding, entertaining, wildly imaginative novel of this great career, which blends history and myth with tremendous philosophical depth. A masterful, mesmerising modern tale about worlds dangerously colliding, the monsters that are unleashed when reason recedes, and a beautiful testament to the power of love and humanity in chaotic times.
Inspired by 2,000 years of storytelling yet rooted in the concerns of our present moment, this is a spectacular achievement - enchanting, both very funny and terrifying. Is is narrated by our descendants 1000 years hence, looking back on 'The War of the Worlds' that began with 'the time of the strangeness': a simple gardener begins to levitate, a baby is born with the unnerving ability to detect corruption in people; the ghosts of two long-dead philosophers begin arguing once more; and storms pummel New York so hard that a crack appears in the universe, letting in the destructive djinn's of myth (as well as some graphic superheroes). Nothing less that the survival of our world is at stake. Only one, a djinn princess who centuries before had learned to love humankind, resolves to help us: in the face of dynastic intrigue, she raises an army composed of her semi-magical great-great ... grandchildren - a motley crew of endearing characters who come together to save the world in a battle waged for 1,001 nights - or to be precise, two years, eight months and twenty-eight nights.

I hope you have enjoyed this selection and have found a new little something to read ...

What will you be reading this Autumn?

November 02, 2015

Favourites // October

So we are in November! I feel like this month has flown by so much I haven't had a lot of time to develop many favourites ... But here are a few things I was loving.

With October the first whole month of Autumn, I really started to get back in to my Berry Lips and Berry Nails! On my lips I have been alternating Clinique's Chubby Stick Intense in Roomiest Rose and Barry M 156 (Viscious Violet). Both are very similar colours, in a gorgeous Red Berry shade. I have been layering both of them over Revlon Colourburst Balm Stain in Honey, this makes them slightly more wearable on a day to day work basis. But when I am going out, and for a little more impact just wearing them on their own. For nails I have been loving Barry M's Speedy Quick Dry in Sprint Finish and Nails Inc in Piccadilly Circus. They are pretty much the same shade, and that shade is the mosh perfect dark red Autumnal shade ... Mmmm.

Nothing screams Autumn more than a hot bath and a hot cup of tea. My favourite combination throughout October was 'The Comforter' Bubble Bar from Lush which smells like blackberries and makes the bath very bubbly and purple! I have been coupling that with either the Twinnings Strawberry and Raspberry Tea or Taylor's Raspberry and Vanilla Tea, they are delicious and a great alternative to tea or coffee in the evening.

And to top all of that Autumnness ... I bought a little set of fairy lights! I have never been one for fairy lights before (apart from on my Christmas Tree!) but this year I have embraced it! I bought these little battery operated fairy lights from Lights4Fun, and have draped them over the back of my bed for a little bit of Autumn sparkle. And I tell you what! I am loving them!!

What were you loving throughout October?