June Goals

Saturday, 31 May 2014
Hello everyone! It's that time again. Time for my monthly goals post. I didn't do as well as I'd hoped to this month but May was a very busy month for me. I had my exams which took up most of my time. However, I did manage to tick off the things that were the most important! I'll have a lot more free time in June so I'm expecting that to be an overall more productive month!

1. Study hard for all of my exams. Duh.
2. Find shoes and a bag for prom.
3. Pay the final deposit on the limo for prom.
4. Read 6 books.
5. Go to South Queensferry with Stuart.
6. Spend one day cleaning for my mum.
7. Check out the mobile library in my new area.
8. Crochet a granny square blanket in baby colours and start on a blanket for myself.
9. Go to the cinema.
10. Take my dog on a walk at least once a day(don't worry, he gets two walks everyday, there are four of us!).


So here are my goals for June:

1. Don't get too stressed out about prom and enjoy myself!
2. Save 40% of my wages.
3. Focus more on my blog and actually make use of all the resources I pin on Pinterest.
4. After prom have a big clear out of the people that I follow on Twitter/am friends with on Facebook and get rid off all the people that I don't really like and don't want to see again.
5. Hopefully host my 1500 follower giveaway.
6. Complete the Race For Life in under 45 minutes.
7. Take a load of books/clothes to the charity shop.
8. Read all the books that are currently in my TBR pile.
9. Start doing work outs every few days.
10. Spend a day in Edinburgh and take lots of lovely photographs.

I'm now on summer break so I have lots and lots of free time to use up. I really want to start taking my blog more seriously and improve the quality of my photographs and writing. Hopefully June is the month!

Twitter @honestlyrussell // Instagram  @honestlyrussell // Pinterest @honestlyrussell

Related posts:
April Goals // May Goals // New Years Resolutions


How To Crochet A Granny Square

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

 Hello everyone! I've got another crochet tutorial today. Thank you for all the comments on the last one. I have decided that I am going to do a series where I show you how to do the basics but I'm still trying to work out the best way to do this. Should I do each stitch individually or a collective post? Anyway, in this tutorial I'm going to show you how to crochet a granny square. Granny squares are what most people think of when they hear the word crochet. They're really versatile and you can make so many things with them. I really love the look of blankets made up of loads of granny squares with lots of different colours. You could also make a blanket that's like a ever ending granny square. So much you can do!

You will need:

Different coloured balls of wool
5mm crochet hook
A large needle for sewing in ends

STEP 1: Slip knot and then chain 4.

STEP 2: Slip stitch into the chain farthest from the hook to create a circle.

STEP 3: Chain 3 and then do 2 double crochets into the centre of the circle. Then chain one. The first 3 chains count as 1 double crochet so here you have 3 double crochets and a chain.

STEP 4: Repeat this 3 times and then slip stitch into the 3rd chain of your first double crochet.

STEP 5: Cut off the wool of your first colour and sew in your ends.

STEP 6: Attach your second colour of wool into one of the corner spaces and chain 3.

STEP 7: Place 2 more double crochets into the corner, chain 2 and then place 3 double crochets into the corner. Then chain 1.

STEP 8: Repeat this until you have filled all the corners. Then slip stitch into the 3rd chain of your first double crochet.

STEP 9: Cut off your second colour of wool and sew in the ends. Attach your new colour of wool into a corner. Chain 3.

STEP 10: Repeat the corner like you did in the second row so that you have 2 sets of 3 double crochets separated by the 2 chains. Then chain 1.

STEP 11: Place 3 double crochets into the gap between the corner spaces on the second row. Then chain 1.

STEP 12: Repeat this all the way around and then slip stitch into the third chain of the first double crochet.

STEP 13: Cut off the wool and then sew in your ends.

Whilst it seems complicated at first, when you get the hang of these they are super easy to do and don't take very much time. It's really worth sewing your ends in as you go because if you leave it until the end and you have a whole blanket made of them then it'll take you forever to sew them all in. You can experiment with so many different colour combinations. Also you can have as many rows as you like but after the 3rd I think it's pretty self explanatory and I didn't want this post to be too long. Happy crocheting!

Twitter @honestlyrussell // Instagram  @honestlyrussell // Pinterest @honestlyrussell

My Top 5 Books I'd Watch As Movies

Tuesday, 27 May 2014
Hello everyone. As a follow up to my top 5 book to movie adaptations post I thought I'd do a little post about the books that I think would make amazing movies. I know it's not popular to like books being made into movies but these are all posts that I think would translate really well onto the screen.

 Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell -  I love watching movies that are set in different decades. I really appreciate the work that goes into the costumes and set. This would make an absolutely bangin' 80s movie and it would have a terrific soundtrack, like seriously. Eleanor & Park has squishy romance parts and lots of sad parts as well which is why it would make a great movie.

Wonder by RJ Palacio - This is a book about a young boy who has a severe facial deformation starting high school. In the book we never get a full description of what his face looks like so I think this would make a really unique movie if it was filmed from the point of view of Auggie and like the book we never get to see his face. This is a beautiful story but I think it's missing a lot of people because not as many people read books. If this was a movie it would be incredibly beautiful and I'm sure it would bring a lot of people to tears.

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides - If I'm honest I didn't really enjoy this book too much. It was too long. And it covered like 3 generations of a family after they move to the US from Greece and to be honest it was just too much and too complicated. By the end of the book it mentioned something and I was like 'I read a book about that recently' then realised that it was actually this book and I'd kind of forgotten the start by the time I reached the end. As a movie, I think it would be a lot more interesting and easy to follow. When The Virgin Suicides, another book by Jeffrey Eugenides, was made into a film it was amazing. I'm sure this could be just as great.

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson - This movie would be such a self indulging chick flick. £10 bet that Zac Efron or Liam Hemsworth would play Roger. It would be a great summer movie that would be an easy watch. I'm not really a fan of chick flicks but I think I'd like them a lot more if I'd already read the book it was based on.

More Than This by Patrick Ness - When I read books I don't actually picture things that well. I know it sounds weird but whenever a book gets made into a movie and everyone says 'the characters aren't how I pictured them'? That doesn't apply to me because most of the time I don't have a clear picture of what the characters look like in my head. But with this book, it's so vivid and descriptive that I couldn't help but see everything so clearly. I think it would make a great thriller that would leave me gripping my seat. There were points in this book where I was terrified and that would translate so well into a movie.

What do you think? Are there book you think would make awesome movies?

Twitter @honestlyrussell // Instagram  @honestlyrussell // Pinterest @honestlyrussell

Recipe: BBQ Pulled Pork

Monday, 26 May 2014
Pulled pork seems to have taken the UK by storm over the past few months, it seems to be dominating the menus of all the trendy restaurants. My mum came home from Slimming world last week saying that she was going to make pulled pork. I was a little dubious but I decided to help her out with it as I do love me some pulled pork. It took us about 15 minutes to put everything together in the morning and whilst she was at work I checked on it and stirred the sauce and poured it over the pork joint so it didn't dry up. Our kitchen smelt amazing by the time it was finished. This recipe does require a slow cooker. The recipe is originally from the Slimming World website and called for 250g of tomato puree. We had to make this up with passata as we didn't have enough. It did taste very tomato-y so if I were to make this again I would probably half the amount used.

1 Lean pork joint
5 Tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon of mustard 
50g of Tomato purée
200g of Passata 
2 Crushed cloves of garlic
3 Tablespoons of Stevia
3 Tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

1. Cut all visible fat off of the pork.
2.  Turn on a slow cooker and add all other ingredients to the slow cooker.
3. Stir until the ingredients are well mixed.
4. Add the pork and pour some of the sauce over the top.
5. Cook for about 5-6 hours depending on the size of your joint of pork, occasionally check on it and stir the sauce.
6. Remove the joint from the slow cooker and allow to cool.
7. Shred the meat with two forks and transfer to a pan.
8. Pour the sauce over the meat and heat in the pan until warm.

I had mine on a roll the next day for lunch but my mum had hers on a roll with some potato wedges that night for her dinner. It's absolutely gorgeous and smells amazing. This recipe makes enough for about 4 or 5 rolls and will keep in the fridge for a few days.

Twitter @honestlyrussell // Instagram  @honestlyrussell // Pinterest @honestlyrussell


Top 5 Ways To Make Your Blog More User Friendly

Sunday, 25 May 2014

1. Make your commenting  system as streamlined as possible. If you host your blog on Blogger then it will automatically put the captcha comment verification on. This is pretty annoying and a lot of people will not bother commenting because of this. It can be removed in the settings section. If you're worried about spam comments then put on comment moderation. I would recommend installing Disqus for comments. I done this a few weeks ago and have seen a massive increase in the amount of comments I get. It's very easy!

2. Use a clear font that isn't too small. I have bad eyesight and whilst I wear glasses I still find it hard to read blogs where the font is very small. It's also a good idea to use a clear font, anything too 'loopy' is hard on the eyes.

3. Have a clear and detailed about me page. I think a lot of people underestimate the power of a good about me page. My about me page has more views than any of my blog posts. When someone is reading your blog for the first time and liking it, the likelihood is that they're going to want to know more about the person behind the blog. Your about me page is your chance to really sell yourself. It can be hard to write about yourself but it's worth it. Tell them what your name is, where you live and give a rough idea about what you do for a living or what you study. Talk about your hobbies and interests. Have you got any pets? What do you get up to when you aren't blogging? If you have a beauty blog then it might be beneficial to write about what skin type you have or list a few of your favourite products. It's also a good idea to include a few photos of yourself and maybe include a few links to some of your favourite posts.

4. Make it easy for people to follow your blog. Have links to all your social media in the sidebar relatively close to the top. Social media buttons are a great was to do this as they don't take up a lot of space and are very easy to install yourself if you aren't great at HTML. A quick google will prove a ton of how to guides and free buttons. It's also worth keeping your GFC widget if you still have one. It's a little outdated but some people do still use it!

5. Blog consistently. I'm not saying that you have to blog every day but you should find a routine and try your hardest to stick to it. If your readers know that you post every Tuesday and Saturday, they're likely to come and check for posts every Tuesday and Saturday. If you regularly leave large gaps between blog posts then readers will lose interest.

Twitter @honestlyrussell // Instagram  @honestlyrussell // Pinterest @honestlyrussell

Your Bookish Questions Answered

Saturday, 24 May 2014
I've started doing a lot more blog posts about books which has lead to me getting a lot of tweets/comments asking me about my reading patterns etc. I thought I'd clear everything up in this post just in case anyone else was also curious.

Do you have a lot of books or do you take them out from the library?

I don't know how many books I have exactly but I estimate that it's between 100 and 150. I used to take a lot of books out of the library but now that I'm not longer able to use my high school's library I don't know what I'll do about it. My local library is now about a 45 minute walk each way and I don't really fancy that walk when they don't really have a great selection of books any way.

Where do you buy your books from? Where has the cheapest prices?

If I'm buying my books online then I'll either buy them from Amazon or The Book Depository. The prices vary sometimes Amazon is cheaper sometimes The Book Depository is. I have an affiliate link for The Book Depository so if I buy from there I can earn commission off my own sales which is handy. Also if a book is less than £3 I'll probably just buy it for my Kindle. There are also a lot of free Kindle books which is handy. I think I've going to do a post about my favourite free kindle books soon.

If I'm buying them in person then I'll probably buy them from a charity shop or from The Works. The Works is a great place to get cheap books. They often have deals on like 3 for £10 and have a section where all the books are £1/£2. If you have one near you I really recommend checking it out. I very rarely buy books from Waterstones but if I do then I'll use my points card and try and take advantage of some sort of buy one get one half price deal.

How do you find the time to read?

I get in bed at 10 o'clock and I read until 11 before going to sleep. Or at least I try to as often as I can. I'll also always have a book in my bag so if I have a spare five minutes I'll read whilst waiting on the bus/train etc. It's the little things that add up. I've written two posts about reading more books which you can read here and here.

What books would you recommend for new readers?
Wonder by RJ Palacio, Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

You've said you don't like classics, why is this?
I guess just because a lot of the time the story line isn't something that I'm interested in. I also really don't like the portrayal  of women in classics and the way that romances/relationships are described.

Who are your favourite authors?
Patrick Ness, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Markus Zusak and Khaled Hosseini.

What are your favourite genres?
I really like contemporary novels ie. novels that are set in the present day with no fantasy elements. I also really like dystopian novels like Divergent etc and young adult novels. I do like some fantasy worlds but often find that there's too much to take in all at once and I struggle to keep up. I really disliked the Lord Of The Rings series because there were too many new words and names to learn and I couldn't really take it all in.

I hope that's answered any questions you might have had but if you have anymore then feel free to ask in the comments and I'll get back to you! Also I rearranged my bookshelves. What do you think?

Twitter @honestlyrussell // Instagram  @honestlyrussell // Pinterest @honestlyrussell

Recipe: Banana Bread

Friday, 23 May 2014

Hello everyone! I had some bananas lying around that had gone a little bit too brown so I decided to make some banana bread. Then I realised that I've never actually shared it on here. This is my gran's recipe and it's one of the things that I think of when I hear 'family recipe'. It's so tasty and easy to make. It only takes about 10 minutes to mix up and then you can leave it in the oven for an hour whilst cleaning up(boo) and getting on with other things.

8oz self raising flour
4oz unsalted butter(softened)
4oz caster sugar
2-3 bananas(mashed)
4 tablespoons of milk
1 large egg


1. Preheat oven to gas mark 4 and grease a loaf tin.
2. Rub the butter into the self raising flour.
3. Add 4oz of sugar and mix to combine.
4. Mix the egg, milk and banana in a separate bowl.
5. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir gently, do not over mix.
6. Pour into the loaf tin and place in the oven.
7. Cook for an hour or until a skewer comes out the middle of the loaf clean.
8. Wait until cooled, slice and enjoy!

Twitter @honestlyrussell // Instagram  @honestlyrussell // Pinterest @honestlyrussell

DIY: How To Crochet A Dishcloth

Wednesday, 21 May 2014
Hello everyone. Exciting stuff, today I'm posting my first ever crochet pattern. Dishcloths might seem like a bit of a weird thing to make but trust me these things are amazing. They're made with dishcloth cotton which is really absorbent. They can also be bleached and used again, one will last you a few years. I sell things that I crochet to friends and family and I swear I can't make these fast enough to keep up with the demand.

 You will need:
100g of dishcloth or craft cotton
A 5mm(size H) crochet hook
A needle for sewing in your ends.

I buy my craft cotton on Ebay here. Because I make and sell these it's beneficial for me to buy them in bulk. You can buy an individual 100g ball here but the shipping is quite expensive. I'd recommend checking out a local craft store before ordering it online to see if you can get it cheaper. One 100g ball will make 3 dishcloths.

Step 1: Create a slipknot on your hook and chain 25.

Step 2: Double crochet into the fourth chain from the hook.

Step 3: Double crochet into every chain until you reach the end of the row.

Step 4: Chain two.

Step 5: Turn your work and double crochet into every stitch until the end of the row. Repeat this until you have 15 rows of double crochet. 

Step 6: Cut your cotton and cast off.

Step 7: Sew in your ends and your dishcloth is complete.

And there you go! Would you be interested in seeing more crochet related blog posts? I've considered doing a post on how to do the basics like chain, single crochet, double crochet and half double crochet etc etc. Would you like to see that? Let me know!

   Twitter @honestlyrussell // Instagram  @honestlyrussell // Pinterest @honestlyrussell

New Blog Design and Blog Update

Tuesday, 20 May 2014
Hello everyone. As a few of you have already noticed, over the past week a lot of changes have been made to my blog. I've had my blog completely redesigned by Pretty Wild Things. I absolutely love it. I did really like my old design but I wanted something a lot softer and more fresh. And now Batdog is also in my header. Yay. We can't leave him out. I would really recommend Serena for designs as she's done everything that I wanted and was so quick. I emailed her on Thursday asking if she could do it and she started straight away. Everything was finished by around midday yesterday so it took her about 4 days. I've also installed Disqus onto my blog for comments. I used to really prefer the Blogger commenting system but I've realised now that I have a lot of new followers who don't host their blogs on Blogger. It makes sense to have a commenting system that's open for everyone. Also it notifies you if someone replies which is really handy.

Another thing is that I'm now accepting sponsors. I tried to do it back in October but my stats weren't great and no one really took interest. I've already sold my first spot to Joy from The Harpy and am excited to get to work with other bloggers(or small businesses) as well. My stats have gone up considerably since October. In April my blog had 20'000ish pageviews and since the start of May I've been getting at least 1'000 pageviews a day. It doesn't seem real. I remember thinking it was amazing when I reached 100 pageviews in a month. The price range is £2-6 which I think is very cheap.

I also wanted to update everyone on where my blog is going. Over the past few months I've really been lacking the inspiration to write beauty posts. This blog started off as a purely beauty blog but to be honest it's now mainly a lifestyle blog. Since I made the decision to go cruelty free I haven't really been buying a lot of make up(definitely a good thing) and I just don't feel like I have anything interesting to say any more. I feel like everything has already been reviewed 100 times and the blogging world does not need any more lipstick swatches. I've gone through the list of blogs that I follow and made some changes. I've unfollowed a few blogs, not because they're bad blogs but because their content is no longer to my interests any more. I'm still following a few of my favourite beauty blogs and I feel like these can provide me with enough. Of course I will still blog about beauty products from time to time and there's no way you'll keep me away from Lush but I don't really want it to be the main focus of my blog. If I'm honest I've always been a little bit embarrassed of running a beauty blog. It just always seemed a little superficial. In real life I am a very bold person. Well not really. I'm quiet and shy but I will stand up for what I believe in and I'm not afraid to call people out on behaviour or language that I think is wrong. I'm the girl that is always posting links to Amnesty International campaigns. I'm the girl who held her own ground for a year when she was the only girl in the physics class. I'm the girl who isn't afraid to get her hands dirty. I have a voice. And this voice was meant for much more than lipsticks and body scrubs. I'm not trying to offend those that write beauty blogs but I just feel there's so much more to write about. I want to write about what I'm passionate about. I used to think that I was passionate about make up but now I've discovered that I'm really not. 

And that leads me onto books. As a few of you more dedicated readers may have noticed that over the last few months I've been gradually increasing the amount of posts I do about books. Now I'm doing about 1-2 posts about books. I've always been a strong reader and I fly through a ton of books every year. I guess it makes sense that my blog would eventually come back to books. When I look back I realise that reading is the one hobby I've had consistently throughout my life. I also want to start sharing a lot more crochet tutorials and recipes. What I'm really trying to say is that these are the things that I'm passionate about now and that's the path that I want to take my blog down. Over the past two weeks I've been working really hard to take my blog more seriously. I've culled down my BlogLovin' following list to the blogs that I find amazing and inspiring. I'm surrounding myself with content that inspires me and makes me want to work harder. It's doing good. At the moment I've got so many ideas and for the first time in months I feel excited about the content that I'm producing and it feels amazing. 

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that there are going to be a lot of changes for the better around here. And I hope that you all believe in me enough to stick around.

Twitter @honestlyrussell // Instagram  @honestlyrussell // Pinterest @honestlyrussell

My Top 5 Non Fiction Novels

 Hello everyone and welcome to another top 5 post. Today we're talking non fiction books. If I'm honest I don't really read many non fiction novels, not nearly as many as I'd like to. I thought this post would inspire me to read more non fiction novels as it would make me think about why I like the ones that I like. And it can also give you guys recommendations for books which is why I really like writing these posts. I love it when I get a comment or a tweet telling me that someone's read a book because they saw it on my blog and that they loved it. It makes me so happy. If you have any requests then please let me know. I'm definitely doing a 'top 5 books I'd like to see as movies' but apart from that I'm kind of running a bit low on ideas.

 The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank - I've never met anyone who's read this and didn't fall completely in love with Anne and her writing style. Her story is such a sad one but she has documented everything so beautifully in her diary. I almost want to learn Dutch just so that I can read this in it's original state. If you don't know already this is the diary of a young, teenage girl that she kept whilst hiding from the Nazis. Her family and another Jewish family lived in a secret annexe behind a bookshelf for years before they were unfortunately discovered and taken to concentration camps. I would definitely recommend this. 

The Aquariums of Pyongyang  by Kang Chol-Hwan - This is a memoir written by a man who escaped from North Korea. He was sent to a political prisoner camp when he was a child and escaped via China to South Korea after he was released. This is really poignant and a great book to read to give you some perspective. 

Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen - This is written like a fiction novel but it's actually the author's own experiences in a psychiatric hospital during the sixties. It's like the female One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest. Kaysen has a very nice, witty writing style and doesn't beat about the bush. It's also been made into a movie featuring Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder which is actually a really good movie.

How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran - I'm sure you've already heard of Caitlin Moran. She's a UK journalist and is absolutely hilarious. This is a jokey sort of memoir about feminism. And it's really good. It took me a long time to read but it was definitely worth it. Don't take it too seriously though. I've seen people complain 'it's how to be Caitlin Moran not how to be a woman' obviously!

Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick - This is another book about North Korea. Instead of being one person's narrative this follows several different people. I think this is a really good book because it lets you see how the rich and the poor live. One of the people it features is a doctor, another is the poor daughter of a miner. It really helps reflect on all paths of life inside North Korea and gives a more complete idea of life there. If you're interested on reading a book about North Korea I would definitely recommend this. It's very informative.

What is your favourite non fiction novel?

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Week In Photos #68

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Bedtime reading / Throwback / Out for lunch
Horse riding / Shelfie / New phonecase
Personalised JL bag / Crocheted blanket / New Coke

Hello everyone. Another week another Instagram collage. This week has been pretty boring. I haven't actually done much. I had my chemistry exam on Monday which went very well but I've really just been lazing about and unwinding. I started revising last night again as I have my physics exam on Thursday. I feel pretty confident about that so I'm excited to get that out of the way. After that it's just pure summer holiday! Think I'm going to start it off by spending Friday in Edinburgh with some friends. I am very excited to be moving there in September!

Also an explanation of the horse photo. My sister rides and me and my mum went to pick her up and they were all joking at me like 'oh go on Hayley' to have a ride and I said 'I'll get on the horse if my mum gets on the horse' thinking that she wouldn't, she did. Oops. I also found a pair of shoes and a bag for prom(finally). I really want to post photos but I'm kind of trying to keep it a secret so I can't! I promise that when it comes there will be many photos!

Twitter @honestlyrussell // Instagram  @honestlyrussell // Pinterest @honestlyrussell

Mr Nutcase Personalised Phonecase

Saturday, 17 May 2014
Hello everyone. What do you think of my new phone case? I have to say that it's probably my new favourite thing, ever. It's one of the Ultra Light Weight Slimline phonecases* from Mr Nutcase. I've wanted a personalised phone case for a while so it was nice to be able to get my hands on one. You can choose to personalise your phone case like I did or choose from a range of premade designs.

The photos I chose are are as follows(clockwise):
The big wheel at the Edinburgh German Market
Little Hayley and her first dog
Me and Charlotte at the Fabb Glasgow event
Me and one of my friends from our last days of high school
A crocheted blanket I made that just really liked
Stuart & I

There are a few different collage designs that you can choose from or you can just have one whole image on the phone case. I really like how it looks and I've already had a lot of compliments on it. The case itself is very sturdy and has a slight texture to the platic on the back, this means that it's not slippy and therefore you're less likely to drop it. My last phone case was also like this and it was really handy. I don't think that this case would stop your phone from getting smashed if you dropped it but if you like their Facebook page you can get a free screen protector which would help avoid minor scratches. The sides are made of clear plastic and are quite tight. It's hard to remove which is either a pro or a con, depends how much you like to change your phone cases!

The phone cases cost £14.95 which I think is a great price for such a high quality phone case that you can personalise yourself. Mr Nutcase have given me a discount code for you all as well so if you enter 'Thanku10' at the checkout you can have a 10% discount.

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Top 5 Book Covers

Friday, 16 May 2014
Hello everyone. I thought I'd do another top 5 post with my favourite book covers. I'm not one to buy a book specifically for the cover but if there are several different cover designs then I'll go for the nicest ones available. And I absolutely hate movie covers!

More Than This by Patrick Ness I absolutely love this cover although it does give me a bit of a headache when I look at it for too long. This is a hardback without a dust jacket and the door is actually cut out. When you lift it up the inside page is the bright yellow. Not to mention that it's also an insane book. I don't want to talk about plot too much because I think this is one of those books that you should read whilst not really knowing what it's about. But trust me, it's good! 

Paper Towns by John Green - This cover is one of my favourites because I really like the idea of filling a map with pins of places you want to visit. I also think it fits really well with what happens in the novel. It's about a girl who goes missing and the guy that she was friends with as a kid goes to hunt her down. My copy is also signed which makes it so much better!

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky - The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is my favourite novel ever. I love all of the writing on it and the attached photos. The novel is written as letters so it makes sense that there's paper on the cover. And I love the font!

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - In this book the circus is completely made up of black and white things and followers of the circus identify themselves with a red scarf. You see how this works? The Night Circus is a beautiful, detailed book and I feel like the cover really reflects that. It's a hard plot to explain but trust me, it's hard not to love this book.

The Ask And The Answer by Patrick Ness - Another Patrick Ness book. What can I say? I love that man. I really like the geometric design on the books in this series but this one is my favourite. The blue colour is a really pretty colour. I want to explain how it coordinates with the book but as it's the second in a series I'll leave that up to you to discover!

What are your favourite book covers?

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Review: Ted Baked Hair Putty

Monday, 12 May 2014

My mum is a hairdresser so she's always looking for new products that she can test on clients. So when I was offered a tub of the Ted Baker Hair Putty* for review I asked her if she'd be interested in trying it out for me and she was more than happy to oblige. 

The hair putty comes in a 125g tub which is quite large for a hair product and the packaging is really nice. I really like the colour scheme and design of the labels. The hair putty has a very nice scent, it smells like nice aftershave. My mum says that the scent was what most people commented on and what they liked best about the putty. Hair putty is used like gel or wax to style hair, usually used on men but would also be great if you have a short pixie cut. You apply it to your hair and rub it in, then you can style it however you want. The putty made the hair easy to style but was a bit greasy to the touch. The benefit of using a putty rather than a gel is that it doesn't dry in a way which makes the hair look greasy. It has coconut essence in it which gives a matte look.

The hair putty is £6.30 and is available in stores at Boots.  A little goes a long way and a tub would last you a good few months if you're not a hairdresser.

Twitter @honestlyrussell // Instagram  @honestlyrussell // Pinterest @honestlyrussell

Week In Photos #67

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Starting a new blanket / My gran's garden / Maths doubts
Pre exam Starbucks/ Kissing my 13 maths jotters good bye / Calgel round 2
Chemistry revision / Blanket / Card games

Hello everyone! Another relatively non-exciting week from me. I had my maths exam on Tuesday. It didn't go very well. Although no one said that it went well which is a little bit reassuring(search 'advanced higher maths' on Twitter and you'll see what I mean). So now I've just been moving on to the chemistry revision. My exam for that is on Monday and after that I've got none until the 22nd which is phsyics. After that I'm scot free. I still haven't found prom shoes or a bag yet. Oops.

On Wednesday I went to see Cirque Du Soleil with my boyfriend and his family at the Hydro. It was an amazing night but they had a very strict no photography rule so I have no photos to show. I think they're touring the UK at the moment. The show was great but I'm not too sure if it was really worth the £56 ticket. Did anyone else see them? What did you think? Stuart went halfers with me on my ticket as his parents bought his but still. It is a lot of money!

Next week I'm planning to just relax after getting my chemistry exam out of the way. There's also a little readathon going on at the moment so I might actually try and finish my library books before their due date. That would be a shocker. There's also a clothing swap going on in Edinburgh on Thursday that I've been invited to. I've included the flyer below.  Anyone interested in coming with. It's in Leith which isn't an area I'm familiar with so I'd like a chum. If you have a blog and you email them then you can go for free so let me know if you fancy going!

Twitter @honestlyrussell // Instagram  @honestlyrussell // Pinterest @honestlyrussell


50 Fail Safe Blog Post Ideas

Saturday, 10 May 2014

1. Give something up for a month and blog about the experience. Eg. Chocolate, fizzy drinks etc.
2. Blog about your top 5 holiday destinations.
3. Share your favourite blog posts that you've read that week/month.
4. Review the last book you read.
5. Take an item of clothing out of your wardrobe and show how you'd dress it up from day to night.
6. Share an old family recipe.
7. Write a list of tips for new bloggers.
8. Show us where you blog.
9. Take your camera out on a walk with you and share some photos.
10. Share your worst baby photos, go on, it'll be a laugh.
11. Write an about me post or update it if you've already got one.
12. Share the names you wish you had.
14. Try a DIY from Pinterest. If it turns terrible then that's even better.
15. Pick a colour and show some of the things you own that are that colour.
16. Do a room tour of your bedroom or office.
17. Show us your bookshelf.
18. 10 things to do to brighten your day.
19. Write a list of blog ideas for other bloggers!
20. Share your favourite blog posts that you've written over the years and why they're your favourites.
21. Do some spring cleaning and blog about what you did.
22. Blog about all the pets that you had growing up. Didn't have any pets? Blog about the ones you wish you had.
23. Host a giveaway.
24. Create a blog roll.
25. Write a list of 101 Things To Do In 1001 Days.
26. Blog about some of the things that you've ticked off your 101 Things list.
27. Show us your go to hair and make up.
28. Share some old fashion disasters.
29. Share a DIY.
30. Post some tips on something you're good at(see 5 Ways To Read More Books & 5 More Ways To Read More Books).
31. Blog about a beauty product you hated.
32. Write a post about your favourite movies.
33. Share some unpopular opinions.
34. Do a tag post.
35. Blog about a beauty product you love.
36. Blog about what you do to pamper yourself.
37. Share some studying tips if you're still a student.
38. Show us your top 5 nail polishes for the season.
39. Review your camera.
40. Take a photo of you from when you were a kid and try and replicate the outfit that you were wearing in it.
41. If it's near Christmas then write a gift guide.
42. Share a wishlist.
43. Blog about your favourite blogs and share the love.
44. Give a shout out to the readers that you see cropping up time after time in the comments.
45. Share your favourite 'go get em' songs'.
46. Blog about your favoruite candle scents for the season.
47. Review one of your favourite local restuarants.
48. Share some of your favourite YouTube channels and a few of their videos.
49. Post some of your favourite things that you've found on Pinterest(remember to source).
50. Blog about one of your hobbies(beside blogging).

Twitter @honestlyrussell // Instagram  @honestlyrussell // Pinterest @honestlyrussell