Thursday, November 20, 2014

Book Review: 'High Five' by Janet Evanovich (Stephanie Plum #5)

THE DETAILS:
Pages: 317
Genre: Adult Fiction, Mystery/Crime
Release Date: 01/01/1999
Publisher: St Martin's Paperbacks
I bought this book.

THE BLURB:
In her fifth high-octane thriller, bounty hunter Stephanie Plum sets out to find her missing uncle-- and along the way smacks slam-bang into: a dead body, a nasty bookie, her stun-gun-toting grandmother, two very sexy men, an angry little man who won't leave her apartment, and a Mafia wedding...

Jersey's favorite bounty hunter has never been better! With high hair, street smarts and plenty of attitude, Steph's sure to nail this case-- or risk life and spandex-clad limb trying...

MY THOUGHTS:
As much as I enjoy reading the 'Stephanie Plum' series, I am a little unsure about whether or not I should continue to review them for you all. This is partly because the series is so long, but also partly because I can foresee some recurring themes based on the books I have read so far. Is the fifth book in the 'Stephanie Plum' series a romance to end all romances? No. It is a pretty decent book though. Here are my thoughts.

I feel like each book takes Stephanie's love life back to square one. She has no ability to define her relationship either. So, if you are reading this for the romance, it's probably time to give up now. I guess the only difference in this book is that Stephanie has another admirer... There aren't any major love triangles or anything though. At least not yet...

As usual Stephanie continues to show us how human she is, by second guessing everything she does and really freaking out. I really like that Stephanie is new to this Bounty Hunter thing, because I feel like this is different to the norm with this genre (at least with TV shows). I feel like she is easy to identify with and that the series seems more realistic, because she does get scared or nauseous like I would.

Five books in and the author still manages to keep the story line interesting! I will be interested to see how well the author continues to keep things original as the series goes on. I feel like this was definitely one of the more interesting stories and I liked the added aspect of Stephanie's "other job" too. I also really enjoy how some things become such a common occurrence that they are just plain funny in this series. Cars blowing up etc.

Overall, I give this book a 4.5/5 stars. I don't want to say much because I know I will spoil the series for everyone. I think I might review the next book in the series and then I will make my decision on whether or not to continue reviewing this series. I think the author is still writing them and I don't want the book reviews section of my blog to become "The Stephanie Plum" blog.

Your Favourite Blogger,
Natalie

Thursday, November 13, 2014

My Spring Favourites: Beauty, Style and Other Stuff

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I finally decided to write up my Spring favorites post. I thought I'd better jump in and write it before Spring was over, and so here it is. I have bought a lot of things since my last post, so this list is going to be quite huge. I won't include everything though, because I have only just gotten into some products this month and I don't think I have used them enough to decide that they are favourites (or even seasonal favourites). 

If you live in the northern hemisphere I think some of these favourites might be worth checking out if you are looking for a new product to try. I don't really follow seasonal colours...

*I purchased these with my own money

SKINCARE
  • I feel like the Tea Tree oil I mentioned in my last favourites post had stopped doing its thing, so I decided to try a new cleanser. I don't know if it works super well, but the Biore Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser makes my skin feel all fresh and tingly and clean. 
  • I really like the Nivea Pure & Natural Cleansing Toner because it is cheap and it doesn't make my skin feel tight or sting like many other toners have in the past.
  • The Smartskin Cleansing Wipes were only $1 at Woolworths and they are actually pretty decent!
  • The Swisse Rosehip Oil Facial Moisturiser is really nice for night. It smells nice and it has heaps of "moisture" with out going oily and gross.
  • The Biore Moisture Lotion with SPF 15 is really nice for daytime. It doesn't smell like sunscreen and it balances the moisture levels in my skin without making it too greasy. 
  • The Lanolips 101 Ointment is a really rich lip balm made from lanolin (wax derived from sheep wool) that I like to use before bed and sometimes before make-up application. 


BATH and BODY:
  • I really like the Avon Naturals range. I have the moisturiser, the body wash and the body spray in a few different scents. I really like that I can enjoy some nice scented products without having a bad reaction.
  • While I still do really like the Nivea Pure and Natural Body Lotion , I have recently rediscovered the  Cocoa Palmers Olive Butter Body Lotion and really like it too. I do have to use a little bit more, and the colour is a little off-putting, but it does smell nice and keep my skin from going dry. 

HAIR:
  • I really like the Toni&Guy Classic Wave Memoriser for putting in my hair the day after I've washed it. It puts some moisture into my hair and tames the frizzy/fluffy bits.
  • I also really like the Toni&Guy Glamour Spritz&Shine Mousse for taming my hair. A little bit goes a long way!
  • Since my scalp is a bit sensitive I decided not to use aerosol hair sprays anymore. Which is a little sad. The Herbal Essence Toussle Me Softly Spray  is the closest thing I have found to get the same effect. If i am having a really bad hair day I will wet it, put in some mousse or pomade, pin it into place, And spritz it with this stuff. I wait till it is dry and take it out, and it looks fine. 


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MAKE-UP:
  • I am really happy with some new brushes I bought from Crush Cosmetics and a Nude by Nature brush set that I bought. I find that Johnson and Johnsons Baby Shampoo is really great for cleaning them. 
  • I really appreciate the Covergirl Clean Foundation  since trying a few others which didn't really work out. It's not full coverage and it doesn't do anything special, but it is kind to my skin and the colour range is really accurate.
  • Two new favourite under-eye concealers are the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer and the NYX Dark Circle Concealer. I find that they do both crease a little, but i haven't really found an under-eye concealer that doesn't. These work great with or without powder. 
  • I really like the Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer for covering blemishes. I know that isn't what it's meant for, but that's how I use it...
  • I really like the Besame Violet Brightening Powder  for making my skin look less sallow, especially when I want to wear an unusual shade of lipstick or eye-shadow. 
  • I really like the Savvy by DB Loose Mineral Powder in Translucent for highlighting my skin because it's really shimmery. I have also used it to set my make-up, but i prefer to just use it under the eyes, on the nose and the cupid's bow, with a different matte powder on the rest of the face.
  • I love the Milani Baked Blush in Dolce Pink and have been using it like crazy. It's a really lovely pink colour (that isn't too bright) and it has little gold shimmers in it. It's like a highlighter/blush in one and i think it would be flattering on a lot of people.
  • I am a big fan of the Bourjois "Chocolate" Bronzer because it's not too dark/orange and it blends really nicely.
  • I think the highlighter from the Sleek Contour Kit in Light is amazing for the price.
  • I have been using a Mode Eye Pencil in Black to fill in my brows lately. I bought it from the local chemist ages ago, and strangely enough I think it looks really nice. I know my hair is not black, but if I feather this on it matches my eyebrow hairs perfectly and I can team it with a brown brow powder for a less dramatic look. 
  • I have been wearing the Avon Glimmersticks Brights eye liners a bit lately and I really like how they look with bronze eyeshadow.
  • My two favourite Maybelline Eye Tattoo shadows that have been getting the most use are 'Barely Branded' and 'Tough as Taupe'. 
  • I have also really been loving the Essence 3D effect eye shadow in Irresistible Chocolates. My two favourite Sleek Eyeshadow Palettes ('Oh So Special' and 'Del Mar') have been getting a lot of use too. 
  • I really like Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara for the lower lash line. I never used to use mascara on the lower lashes, because mine are too long and it can look weird. I like this one because it is waterproof and because it isn't too voluminous/lengthening. 
  • Even though it is spring here I managed to get sucked into the fall beauty trends because of the american beauty blogs I follow. That and because at the start of spring I was watching 'Dawson's Creek' a lot and Katy Holmes really rocks the brown/mauve colours... (I am on season 5 still though). I really like wines and browns at the moment. My favourites are Besame Lipstick in Merlot and Besame Lipstick in Chocolate. I am also currently trying out some Milani ones and I will do a review once I have a fair idea of these. 
  • I have also been getting a lot of wear out of my new Limecrime Velveteen in Pink Velvet  and Limecrime Lipstick in Airbourne Unicorn. I really love these shades!
  • I finally discovered the Revlon Lip Butters and managed to acquire 6 of those. I am planning to post some swatches eventually. They are not a strong lip colour, but they feel amazing.
  • NYX lip liners are awesome in hot weather because they stop my lipstick from running. I really like 'Cabaret' because it is so versatile.

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STYLE:
  • I have been wearing my Boat Neck Tops from Rockmans quite a bit, as they are the perfect length for early spring and I feel like boat-necks suit my shape. 
  • I have really been liking some of my Chiffon Op-shop Tops  which I think look cute with a broach and a nice skirt. 
  • I bought a bunch of 3/4 Chiffon Skirts from Ebay and they have been getting a lot of wear too. 


MUSIC:
  • In the last couple of months I have decided to revisit some old favourites (albums) which are 'Big Big Love' by Little Birdy and Lenka's self-titled album
  • I finally spent some itunes money. I really love 'For The Last Time' and 'Breaking the Rules' by Jack Savoretti. 'New Shoes' by Paolo Nutini is also a rad song (seriously who could hate it). I also got a bunch of old tunes that I just had to have like 'Luck be a Lady' from 'Guys and Dolls' (Motion Picture Soundtrack) and The Charleston
  • If you haven't already you should check out Bree De Rome's new song on Youtube. It's called 'Easy to Forget'.


MOVIES:
  • Usually I just have a bunch of movies I watch over and over (almost religiously) once I feel I haven't seen them in a while. This month though, I have been into watching Katherine Heigl Movies. I think she is a good actress and I like the types of movies she acts in. Chick Flicks...
  • I never used to like musicals, but I am slowly getting into them. I really liked Disney's Teen Beach movie even if it was corny. 

Did you have any new favourites this season?

Your Favourite Blogger,
Natalie

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Haul/Update: Long Overdue

Hi guys,
It seems like it has been ages since I sat down and wrote about what was actually happening in my life. Since my last post, I have had a birthday (way back in September), bought a tonne of things, painted my nails a bunch of times and was even featured in one of Chronically Vintage's Vintage Link Love Posts. So I guess it has been eventful, but then maybe it just seems that way because I haven't typed up one of these in too long!

I also went to a deportment/etiquette style class. It wasn't quite what I expected as it turned out to be more about "personal development" and presentation skills. I was a little displeased that the book said that heart shaped faces don't suit short hair and eventually ended up deciding the book was a liar as I have probably gotten the most complements I have ever gotten on my hair after I cut it short and my hairdresser freaks out if I tell her I am thinking about growing it. I like my hair and I won't let anyone or any book tell me to cut it different. I decided to buy an actual etiquette book now...

I did get a lot of great things for my birthday, but I can't include it all here because #1 the pictures will go on forever and also #2 because sometimes I think birthday presents should be kind of private and #3 because I got a lot of jewellery and I don't want y'all to see it and then it won't be as special when/if I ever do more outfit posts...

And, like I said I also bought a lot... So, some of these things will be grouped or won't be included. I still have more stuff coming in the mail...

^Me on my birthday! 

^Just some of the jewellery I got. I love these necklaces my mum bought me.

^More super cute Minnie Toys from my sister. 

Like I said I got a lot more for my birthday, but I wasn't able to share everything and I honestly feel a little uneasy sharing some gifts. I had a great birthday and got super spoiled. Thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday on that day :)

^I bought some sunnies and faux glasses from Fashion Addict AU. I ended up ditching the faux clear glasses as they were too big for my face (along with some of my other cheapy pairs from ebay) and purchased two more pairs of faux glasses from ebay.

^Here is me at a rally in September wearing one of my pairs of faux glasses. I do have actual glasses, but I only need those for reading and I thought these faux ones would be a sweet idea for night time excursions, especially because I seem to get dust in my eyes a lot. My allergies/hay fever do not agree with this dust...

^Dad put these shelves together for me. A great place to keep all my DVDs, CDs and VCRs.

^I got some new make-up storage and bought more make-up. I keep my make-up in my bedroom on my bed-side table. If you would like I might do a make-up storage/collection blog post for you all once my new make-up has all arrived (maybe after Christmas). I am not going to worry about showing you what I bought recently because I may be doing some beauty posts soon! I hope...

^I got some Picture Polish polishes and some glitter top coats when I went shopping. My sister also got me some 'MUD' nail polishes for my birthday which I forgot to include.

^I bought these Moyou plates from Picture Polish as well.

^I picked this up 2nd hand on Fishpond. 

^Art/style inspiration.

^To add to my library.

^Some books I picked up shopping out of town.

^I bought some dance DVDs to try out. 

^Yes I bought this. My sister and I used to listen to this group when we were little. Nostalgia took over and I ordered it. Ordered the spice girls as well. 

^Bought some guitar pedals from Artist Guitars. I really like the chorus one. This brand is so cheap and is great if you want to try out effects pedals without paying heaps of money.

I bought a new bag. It looks green but it's actually a grey/blue colour. I really like it and think it will be really practical.

^I have been trying out more make-up looks and posting them to Facebook. I did this one today. 

^Here is one from a couple of weeks ago. 

AND NOW FOR THE MANICURES:
As usual visit my Nails Album on Facebook to read the details.








I also made two more pinterest boards. May Your Summer dresses be more Exciting than your social life and Aquamarine Summers. As you can tell I am excited about wearing some shorts and sundresses! I think the one thing that really goes with summer is being social, so I might need to give that a go too.

I hope you have all had a fabulous Halloween/couple of weeks. 

Your Favourite Blogger,
Natalie

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pretty Picture Post: The Lady is a Vamp

Hi Everyone,

I have been a little busy, so I haven't been able to get to those beauty and book reviews that I am always promising. Just so that you don't forget about my little blog I thought I would post up another picture post. This isn't really Halloween themed, though I did try to make sure I included a fair share of black lace.

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Like the word "Vamp", a black/white photograph can easily be mistaken for something else. The Models and Actresses photographed were quite possibly wearing bright red lipstick and bold colourful dresses, though many of us assume (especially in the 1920s and 1930s photos) that the woman depicted is dressed in something gothic and donning some seriously vampy wine or black lipstick. I like that Black and White photographs sometimes have a subtle eerieness or moodiness to them and even thought it's historically inaccurate I sometimes really enjoy a gothic looking interpretation of a vintage look and I do quite like to delve into the wine lipcolours myself...

While a lot of people assume that a "Vamp" is a vampire (and it sometimes can be), A vamp in vintage slang terms is somewhat similar to a "Vixen" or a "Bombshell". In this post I wanted to share pictures of women that could be perceived as a cross-section of the two ideas. To me a "Vamp" is a lady with an attitude, striking characteristics (or rather emphasized characteristics) and a killer wardrobe. I really like some of the shapes women created with their clothes/undergarments in the 1950s and I think that this is my interpretation of power dressing. Because with a dark defined pout, strong brows, a veil and some seriously structured dresses; Who would dare get in her way...

I hope you all enjoyed my little ramble and that you all have a lovely (or if you'd prefer terrifying) Halloween.

Your Favourite Blogger,
Natalie