The Couple Next Door | Book Review

The Couple Next Door Book Review

I picked up 'The Couple Next Door' on a whim from Waterstones a couple of weeks ago. As soon as I read the blurb, I was instantly sold and eager to get home, make a cup of tea and start reading this. The plot of this book reminded me a lot of the Madeline McCann case as a six month old baby, with rich parents, is stolen from it's cot as the parents attend a dinner party next door.

The Couple Next Door Book Review

This book is full of suspense and definitely a page-turnerI read this book in just under a week, and with my dissertation submission date fast approaching, I'd say that's pretty good going for me. This book is a psychological thriller and although it's not the most twisted thriller I've read, this book is perfect if you're looking for an engaging, holiday read.

I thought this book was very well paced and I was pleased to discover that you find out who kidnapped the baby halfway through the book, unlike most other thrillers who save the big reveal for the very end. This book had me doubting who was the master-mind behind it all again and again. With each chapter ending came a new shocking revelation which made this book addictive. I was desperate to find out who took the baby and WHY. As the narrative goes on, further secrets are revealed so this book does require some concentration from the reader, otherwise you'll miss important information.

The Couple Next Door Book Review

From start to finish, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It was only at the very end I felt disappointed as I thought that the author could have continued to build up the tension and done more of a 'big reveal'. I felt like the ending was far too dramatic, lacked logic and not necessary, so I felt like that ruined the end of the book for me. Although, it did make me wish there was a sequel to this book, just so I could find out what happened after that, so I guess you could say it was extremely enticing and crazy throughout.
The Couple Next Door Book Review

Overall, I'd highly recommend this book to those of you who like psychological thrillers. It contains plenty of suspense, surprises and twists. The final ending was very disappointing in my opinion as I felt as though it was far from reality, but it did add an element of violence if thats of interest to you. 



Have you got any other book recommendations to share?

Thanks for reading!
Love,

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If you liked this post, you might like September Favourites and Summer Reading List

How To: Get A Good Nights Sleep

How To: Get A Good Nights Sleep

Creating a ritual for myself for bedtime, allows my body to recognise the signals and begin to wind down. I find that following a few simple steps before I go to sleep, is especially important for me at the moment, as I am currently in the midst of my third year of University so the stress of my dissertation is certainly building up! I find that for me, I need around 8 hours of sleep a night to help me function the next day, get the work done (and not be cranky in the mean time). So here are five of my top tips to ensure that you get a good nights sleep.

Sip A Herbal Tea

Of an evening, I love winding down and drinking a warm, de-caffinated drink such as a hot chocolate or a herbal tea. Having a herbal tea before bed time is a great way to allow your body to relax. Recently, I have been loving using the 'Diplomat Jasmine Green Tea' before bedtime. 

How To: Get A Good Nights Sleep

How To: Get A Good Nights Sleep

Light A Candle

If you can, university halls permitting and all that, light a candle in your room before you go to bed to create a warm and cosy atmosphere. I love watching the flicker of a candle light burn, it instantly makes me feel relaxed. I'd suggest burning a soothing scent such as lavender or chamomile to help you wind down. As you can see by the photograph below, this one in particular has been well loved of an evening by myself, although it is very strong so I wouldn't recommend it for everyone. Try and think of scents that make you feel safe and relaxed and go for one of those!

How To: Get A Good Nights Sleep

Have a warm shower/bath

There is nothing better than getting out of the bath or shower, putting on fresh pyjamas and crawling into fresh sheets, am I right? Just thinking of that as I'm typing makes me feel instantly relaxed and cosy...

For me, having a warm bath or shower of an evening is the perfect way to let my body know that it's time to put the uni work away and start my evening. I think again it's something in the action of doing so that makes you feel relaxed. I love getting to bed feeling clean and refreshed, hearing the flicker of the candle burning, filling my room with its scent and sipping ~my now~, tepid tea.


Use Pillow Spray

I've recently hopped on the bandwagon with the hype of 'pillow spray'. At first, it seemed at bit of a gimmick to me. I didn't see the point in it and thought it would have no effect on how people sleep. The Psychologist in me tells me that it's merely the action of using this that makes me think it's working, which that could be the case but nevertheless, this pillow spray in particular smells A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

 This is the only spray that I have used so I'm no expert on them but I do find that winding down of an evening and wanting to get in bed is made so much easier by this product, as the scent just draws me in and makes me eager to crawl into bed. I do find that since using this, I have been waking up more refreshed, but that could just be a collaboration of all these steps that I have been following, so I can't quite say this is a miracle worker just yet but I certainly do love using it!

How To: Get A Good Nights Sleep

How To: Get A Good Nights Sleep


Read A Book

I always tell myself to read a book before bed but the temptation to reach for my phone instead often overrides that. However, on the occasions where I do read a book for around half an hour before I go to sleep, I find that I fall asleep much quicker and have a better nights sleep all round. This tip takes willpower however, to resist the temptation of 'one more chapter' as you watch that 30 minute allotted time quickly doubling. Currently, I am reading 'The Couple Next Door' which has me hooked! I find that reading a book before bed, alongside my green tea, helps my brain to relax and make my eyes sleepy. 

Have you got any tips yourself that I may have missed?

Thanks for reading!
Love,

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If you liked this post, you might like The Secret Tool To Clear Skin and Valentines Day Makeup Look

HP Sprocket Photo Printer Review

HP Sprocket Photo Printer Review

As someone who loves scrapbooking, a portable printer couldn't have been a more perfect 21st birthday present. After having my fair share of trouble with the Polaroid Snap Touch photo printer (I'll come onto that more in a second), I thought I would share with you my thoughts on the HP Sprocket Photo Printer. 

 The HP Sprocket Photo Printer is a super easy way to print out Polaroid-style pictures from your phone, anywhere at any time. The HP Sprocket comes with a USB charging cord and a 10 sheet pack of the 2x3 Zink paper. The zink paper is sticky back, so you can peel off the back and stick the photo down on any surface. For Christmas last year, I popped a Polaroid picture of my nan and I in her Christmas card and she absolutely loved it. I was instantly impressed with how easy this printer is to use as it came with a modern and sleek app and instructions, unlike the Polaroid camera...(throw that shadeee).

The quality of the pictures are great and they are fully printed and dry within seconds, so you dont have to wait for it to dry or worry about the photo smudging. The HP Sprocket app that you need to be able to use this, is also really great as you can add text, borders, emojis or stickers to the images. For example, in the picture above of my mum and I which was taken in Berlin (see post), I added some heart stickers to the picture by using the app.

"So whaT WAS WRONG WITH THE POLARIOD SNAP TOUCH?"

The idea of the Polaroid Snap Touch portable printer is fantastic as you are able to not only print Polaroid pictures from your phone, but the in-built camera also allows you to take pictures on the spot. However, the camera quality of the Polaroid Snap Touch is shocking so I only ever took the pictures on my iPhone and printed them out afterwards anyway. It is also a lot harder to use and more bulkier than the sprocket, as well as it reminding me of a 90's style app and not coming with instructions. To top it off, the Polariod Snap Touch is around £20 more expensive than the Sprocket, so it's safe to say I would recommend steering clear from that one and opting for the HP sprocket instead, if you are looking for a portable printer.

 Overall, I'd say that for me, the HP Sprocket is totally worth the money as I find it so easy to use. I'd recommend it for anyone who likes to document their travels and their life, although I'd be cautious as the zink paper is usually around £12 for 20 sheets

Have you got a portable printer? What do you use yours for? Let me know in the comments below! 
Thanks for reading! 
Love,
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If you liked this post, you might like 21 Things I've Learnt in 21 Years and Revision Tips

The Secret Tool To Clear Skin

Real Techniques Miracle Cleansing Sponge

Today marks my two-year blogging anniversary! *can I get a whoop whopp*
To celebrate, I thought I'd treat you all to some inside knowledge of the miracle worker that is this product. I often get comments from people saying how clear my skin is which can I just add, makes me feel so happy and comfortable in my skin which I think is so important, so THANK YOU! But I really don't do much in terms of achieving clear skin, I just like to do the following: 

1. Drink plenty of water 
2. Always take my makeup off before bed
3. Wash my face twice a day and always use a moisturiser 

One tool that I've been loving using in my skincare routine to exfoliate is the Real Techniques Miracle Cleansing Sponge. This sponge is a great, gentle exfoliator that I like to use around 3-4 times a week to remove dirt, oil and excess makeup from my face to reveal a clean, smooth complexion. 

Real Techniques Miracle Cleansing Sponge

Real Techniques Miracle Cleansing Sponge
Real Techniques Miracle Cleansing Sponge


I use this sponge wet with any cleanser, although I personally love using the Soap & Glory Vitamin C Facial Wash. Like the Miracle Complexion sponge, once wet this sponge also increases in size. I like to massage it into my skin using circular motions and then rinse off with cold water. As I have sensitive skin, I tend to use this every-other-day although I don't notice any redness after using this anyway and it's so gentle, so I'm sure if you wanted to use it daily that would be fine.

Real Techniques Miracle Cleansing Sponge

Real Techniques Miracle Cleansing Sponge

This is an unedited picture of my skin after using this sponge. Despite a few freckles and redness around my nose (which I unintentionally avoided showing here! *I promise*), my skin is relatively clear which I am very thankful for. I do think that creating a daily skincare routine for yourself is highly important if you want to have good skin, but I think the top tip that I can give to you is to drink lots of water!

Thanks for reading!
 I hope you found this post useful and thank you for being a part of my journey these past two years; whether you are an avid reader of my blog, or just stumbled across it today, your support means the world.
Love,
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If you liked this post, you might like Favourite Real Technique Brushes and Skincare Routine

Avernaco Skincare


Sticking with my New Years resolution of trying to purchase only cruelty-free makeup, Avernaco is the perfect choice as it uses all natural, organic and cruelty-free skincare products. When Avernaco contacted me and asked if I would like to test out some of their products, I jumped at the chance, as I love using natural products on my skin especially, as I have very sensitive skin.
After never hearing of the brand before, I was intrigued to find out that they are an online shop who launched in the UK late last year, and who pride themselves on 'helping everyone feel the best they can'. Their site is a great 'go-to' as it stocks everything from baby to adult; shampoo to deodorant; toothpaste to sun lotion; which makes the site suitable for the whole family!
The first thing that I picked up from the site was the Essential Paw Paw balm as I don't know about you, but I really suffer from dry lips around this time of year so I was interested in trying a product that claims to 'soothe, protect and restore'. This has to be the favourite thing that I recieved from Avernaco. This is just a miracle worker to me as it really hydrates my lips and it feels so moisturising and soft. This product contains shea butter, coconut oil, cocoa butter and calendula and is free from petroleum jelly, parabeans, silicones, colour and many more nasty ingredients. I have the balm in the 7g size, yet it is also available in 25g and 75g sizes which is great as I definitely need to get more of this.
I also picked up the Natralus Intensive Skin Therapy Pure Moisturising Lotion which has soon become a staple in my skincare routine as a face moisturiser. This absorbs into my skin so quickly and I really feel like it makes a huge difference to the appearance on my skin. My face feels more hydrated and nourished after I've used this, which I find really perks up my complexion and helps my skin to look healthier and more awake, which is definitely much appreciated at the present moment! From the same range, I also chose the Natralus Ultra Skin Repair Pure Hydrating Gel, which aims to soothe and restore the appearance of dry and damaged skin. This, like the lotion, also contains paw paw, aloe vera and vitamin E. I found that this works great on burns which I am really impressed with. It is also great for very dry, dehydrated skin so I like to put this on my hands every so often when I think they need a little bit of TLC.
Lastly, I was sent the SPLAT Biocalcium mouthwash to try out which I have been using daily. I love the feel that this gives to my mouth/teeth after use. My mouth feels fresh and super clean and I love knowing that this product is free from fluroide and other nasty ingredients; as well as it helping to reduce any tooth sensitivity and protect against tooth decay and plaque.
I hope you guys are all well and you enjoyed reading this post! 
*Disclaimer: I was sent these products in exchange for a review but all opinions are my own*
Thanks for reading! 
Love,
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If you liked this post, you might like ABH Modern Renaissance Palette and A Remedy For Imperfections

Valentine's Day Makeup Look


Hey everyone,

Valentine's Day is just around the corner, so today I thought I would share with you an easy, fun makeup look for whatever your plans may be. Whether you are celebrating with your other half or celebrating singledom with your girlfriends, this look can suit all occasions as it can easily transfer from a day to an evening look.


  1. Start by applying Soap & Glory One Heck Of A Blot Primer onto your face using your fingertips.
  2. Next, apply M.A.C Studio Fix Fluid Foundation using a wet beauty blender.
  3. For concealer, use the Bourjois Healthy Mix Anti-Fatigue Concealer.
  4. Next, powder your face. For this occasion, I decide to be fancy and 'bake' so I used the Rimmel Match Perfection Loose Powder to bake under my eyes and then I swept the excess all over my face to set my makeup.
  5. To add some colour into my pale face, I used the Benefit Hoola Bronzer to bronze and contour which helped add some definition to my face.
  6. For those perfectly flushed cheeks, I used the L'Oreal Blush Sculpt in 102 for a sweep of colour on the apples of my cheeks. 
  7. Next, I used my M.A.C Soft & Gentle highlighter on my cheekbones, down my nose, on my brow bone and a little bit on my cupids bow. I think this definitely helped to lift this look and make my skin appear healthy and dewy, after using such a matte, full-coverage foundation.
  8. For brows, I stuck with my trusty M.A.C Fluidline Brow Gelcreme in Deep Dark Brunette (see review) and used concealer around the edges to sharpen them up.
  9. Then, apply the Eylure Brow Control and Shape Gel to set those unruly brows in place.
  10. For eyeshadow, I used the orange and red shades in the Morphe 35O palette alongside the gorgeous, champagne shade (1st row, 3rd one in) in my inner corner.
  11. Line your top lash line with a black liquid eyeliner and create a 'cat-eye' flick. I used the Soap & Glory Supercat Liner Pen but any liner will do the trick.
  12. Apply the Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara to your top and bottom eyelashes and then apply the Primark 'Full Look' lashes using DUO eyelash glue (optional!).
  13. To finish off the look, I applied a M.A.C lipstick in the shade 'Brave'.

14. For that extra bit of sophistication, I popped on the imPRESS French Manicure nails to      polish everything off!



Let me know your plans for Valentine's Day and I hope you have a great day regardless of if you are celebrating or not!
Thanks for reading! 
Love,
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If you liked this post, you might like ABH Modern Renaissance Palette and Night-Out Makeup

January Favourites

January Favourites

Hi everyone,

I must admit I am relieved that January is now over. Regardless of the fact that the month went so unbelievably slow, January always feels so bleak and miserable to me; which is probably down to the fact that for the last 5 years I have had exams in January. However, on a brighter note, this month I have been using lots of new products that I kindly received over Christmas, some of which have become firm favourites of mine. So, lets get into it, shall we?


Vera Wang Lovestruck Perfume // I am literally lovestruck by this perfume! Firstly, how gorgeous is this perfume bottle (not that I've shown it very well in this photograph- you can see it better in this post!) It looks stunning on my dressing table with its extravagant, deep purple tulips for the lid. This has to be one of the nicest, floral-smelling perfumes I have found in a long while and it is great to use as an everyday scent. 

Soap & Glory Original Pink Hand Food // I received this in my Soap & Glory Advent Calendar which I was very pleased about, having only ever tried the Sugar Crush scented Hand Food. This is definitely my favourite of the two so far as it has a much more fresh and floral scent, which I personally prefer. Hand cream is an essential for me at this time of year so this has been living in my handbag getting lots of love.

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy 130 Intense Nude // This is currently my go-to favourite lipstick as it feels so weightless and hydrating on the lips, whilst also adding an intense, deep pinky-brown shade to my lips that lasts all day!

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid // I've heard so many great reviews about 'The Ordinary' range so I decided to pick up a few bits to try for myself, from ASOS. This is a water-based serum which helps to attract water to the skin, which helps with hydrating your skin; something I thought would be exceptionally important for these colder, winter months. I use this as a moisturiser, just after I have cleansed my face and before I use any other products. I really have been enjoying using this as it is such a simple product that instantly hydrates my skin without irritating it or clogging up my pores. It also sinks into my skin really quickly which is great for those days when I am in a hurry and I need my moisturiser to quickly soak in before I can apply my makeup.

Nuxe Huile Prodieguise // This is such a luxurious, multi-purpose product that has been a life-saver over the course of these colder months. This is a greaseless, dry oil which is a staple in my evening skincare routine as it makes my skin feel soft and hydrated when I wake up. I also have been a few drops of this product on my hairbrush to help prevent frizz and tame any flyaways, which also helps my appear to appear silky and healthy.

Real Techniques Expert Concealer Brush // I kindly received this for Christmas last year (see post) after hinting tirelessly that I needed it in my life. I love this brush as it fits perfectly underneath my eyes when blending out my under-eye concealer, which is exactly what I wanted as I notice other brushes are far to big and fluffy for that area.


Thanks for reading,
Love
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If you liked this post, you might like Autumn Lip Picks and September Favourites 

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