Saturday, 31 January 2015

My Favourite Rude Valentines Day Cards

I have quite an adult sense of humour. My parents do too and this is something they never hid from me. Sex jokes are no stranger to our dinner table and its something that we just have a laugh about. This isn't normally something that comes across on my blog a lot but to be honest, hiding it is hiding a big part of who I am. I know this blog post will not appeal to everyone but personally, I find it hilarious.

So, Valentines day is approaching. This is mine and Stuart's 4th Valentines day together so its not something we particularly get excited about. We aren't one of those couples that completely ignore it but we don't do much more than get each other a card and maybe go out for dinner. This year, I've seen some absolutley hilarious Valentines day cards and I knew Stuart would love them too so I decided to ditch the usual romantic card and go for one of these. I've ordered him one of these, can you guess which one? Also if you order these cards to the UK within the next few days they should arrive on time.

Buy here.


Buy here.

Buy here.

Buy here.

Buy here.

Buy here.

Buy here,

Buy here.

Buy here.

Buy here.
Would you go for a Valentines card like this or do you stick to the traditional style? Which one is your favourite?

Twitter @honestlyrussell // Instagram  @honestlyrussell // Pinterest @honestlyrussell
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Friday, 30 January 2015

Lush Review - Northern Lights

Hello everyone! Today I'm going to be reviewing Northern Lights, which is a bath ballistic from Lush's Halloween/Christmas collection. I know this is very late but I received this as a present for Christmas. If like me and you're a massive Lush fan, then you'll be happy to read about any Lush product, no matter what time of year it is! This was very popular this year so I think its more than likely that it will be released again. So hopefully this will help you decide whether you want to buy one or not this year!


I'm not going to lie, I'd seen this product hyped up so much that I couldn't help but feel a little let down by it. Don't get me wrong, it was still nice but I was expecting a lot more. I'd heard that it 'spins' around the bath and as it was released for firework night I was expecting a lot. There was some popping candy in it which gave it a little crackle. As for it spinning around the bath: it was a little faster than regular bath bombs but that's because rods have smaller moment of inertia's than spheres. So you know, physics not any spectularily wacky ingredients. Although I think this is something that had been set up by other bloggers/people on Instagram and wasn't a claim from Lush themselves. Still, I was a bit underwhelmed. 

As for it as a bath bomb, it was pretty good. Its mostly purple but there was also some blue and yellow colouring in there too. There was some glitter but not an annoying amount, I personally hate too much glitter in a bath bomb because it makes it such a pain to clean up. It also had a really soothing scent as it contains jasmine and ylang ylang. I really like it when bath products contain these ingredients as I find them really relaxing. 

Overall I enjoyed this bath bomb but if they release it again I won't be rushing out to buy it. The shape is cool but a bit unnecessary and it makes it awkward to fit in the bath. It did smell really good though!


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Thursday, 29 January 2015

OOTD - My 18th




Dress - Blue Vanilla* // Shoes - New Look

Hello everyone! Today I'm going to be showing you what I wore for the flat party that I had on Saturday night. I received this as a sample from etailPR before Christmas but after not going out for new years eve, I've only just had the opportunity to wear it. This beautiful dress is from Blue Vanilla who have a website but if I'm right I think they also sell in the branded section of New Look. I really love this dress, being Scottish I'm always game for a bit of tartan. Unfortunately I can't find it on the website but they do have similar styles!

I've been a bit AWOL on blogging lately and I need to apologise for that! The second semester is already kicking my ass so I've been spending a lot of time just trying to keep on top of work and socialising. Especially with it being my birthday, I've been out/seeing family quite a lot over the last week or so. But I'll be back to normal soon, I promise!

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Wednesday, 28 January 2015

3 Years of Blogging - What I've Learnt

Today celebrates my 3 year blogging birthday! 3 years ago, little 15 year old Hayley sat down and wrote her first blog post. And it was embarrassingly bad. Like seriously, what what was I thinking? But my blog has grown so much since then and has become something I am extremely proud of. It has given me so many amazing opportunities and I've made some great friends through blogging. I wanted to have some really exciting blog posts in the line up for my blogging birthday but to be honest, I am so busy at the moment that that just hasn't happened. So I thought that instead I would share some of the lessons I have learnt through blogging.

Batdog cake made lovingly by Imogen Christopher

When it comes to readers, quality over quantity - Over time I've really began to appreciate my regular readers. The ones who comment on most of my posts with insightful comments. The ones who favourite/RT my tweets and the ones that I chat to regularly. At the moment I'm struggling to manage replying to all my comments because I've started to get a lot more, but I always try to make people aware that I am grateful they took the time to comment. I'd rather have 10 readers like that than 100 who click the follow button and never return.

There is no 'snowball effect' - When I started blogging I was under the impression that once I reached a certain number of followers that I wouldn't need to work as hard to promote my blog as it would 'snowball' and gain more followers quicker. Nope. Definitely not. In actual fact, I think I have to work harder than ever to promote my blog.

Life gets in the way sometimes and that's ok - Once you really get into blogging it can sometimes take over. When you're out and about you think to yourself 'oh could I blog about this?'. Its important to take some time off every now and again. To step back. Blogging is really fun but unless its your full time job, it shouldn't be the most important thing to you.

You can make the best friends from blogging - When I started blogging I never imagined that I would eventually end up meeting other bloggers in person. And that these bloggers would become some of my best friends. And that we would meet up, go for dinner and even have sleepovers. I am so glad that I started my blog or I never would have met such wonderful people!

People won't think of you as weird if you tell them about your blog - When I first started my blog, I was terrified to tell people I knew about it because I was embarrassed that they would think it was weird. Its the complete opposite! My family and boyfriend are all very supportive and most of my friends are now readers themselves. So if you're a blogger who's worried about telling people, you have nothing to be worried about. Yeah I'm sure there are a few people I know that don't like my blog but none of them have ever said anything nasty to me about it.


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Sunday, 25 January 2015

Perks From The Week #2


Sunday - Having my mum's mac n cheese for dinner. Its my favourite comfort food and moving away has made me miss home comforts.

Monday - I had my first German class of the semester and I'm feeling really positive about it. I wasn't sure if I was at the right level but this class put my mind at ease. It will hopefully be a lot easier than physics which was my elective last semester.

Tuesday -  Today was my birthday so obviously the highlight of my week. After uni I got a train back to my home town so that I could see my family and Stuart for a bit. We had chicken and steak fajitas for tea. So good! Then when I came back to Edinburgh I played Cards Against Humanity with some of my friends and flatmates.

Wednesday - I went out to Vodka Rev with some of my friends for my first legal drinks. Got a free birthday cake flavoured vodka shot because it was the day after my birthday.

Thursday - I was worried about failing my physics exam but I got my result back and I got 63%! Now I can finally chuck out my notes and sell back my textbook without feeling guilty.

Friday - Before work, Stuart and I went for lunch at Nandos. Then after work I went to the pub with some of my friends. Its been a while since I seen some of them so it was nice to catch up.

Saturday - I had a little flat party to celebrate my birthday with my friends from uni. It was a great night and nothing got broken or spilt so I'm considering it a success.

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Tuesday, 20 January 2015

18 Today - A Look Back

Hello everyone! Today is finally my 18th birthday. Like seriously, I swear I was the last fresher at my university to reach drinking age. I guess birthdays are always a good time to reflect on how much you've grown as a person over the years. So I thought it would be fun to dig out some old photos of myself so we could all have a laugh at little curly haired Hayley. My mum has an absolute ton of photo albums but I don't have many photos that have been scanned. However, these are a few of my favourites. 


This is me and my first ever dog, Isla. We got her when I was 4 years old and she was a black Labrador. So I guess you could say she was the original Batdog. I think I am 5/6 years old in this photo. 


Whenever I look at this photo I laugh because now I have a bird phobia and definitely would not do that now! This is me and my dad at some sort of birdshow. I have no idea how old I was here, but it doesn't look like I have a lot of hair so I guess I was pretty young.


Me, my mum and my younger sister. My shirt says 'anything boys can do girls can do better'. I was so sassy.


Again here is a photo of baldy Hayley and her dad! I can't remember exactly where we were here but it was down by a river on some sort of caravan holiday, which isn't much help! 


Ok now this one makes me laugh, its probably my favourite. WHAT AM I WEARING?! I used to go on holiday with my cousin and my grandparents to the Isle Of Arran every year and this was taken at Blackwaterfoot harbour.We're going back in April so maybe I'll recreate the photo if I can find a Postman Pat raincoat.

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Monday, 19 January 2015

Craft'ed Van Bookmarks

Hello everyone! Today I'm going to be showing off some awesome bookmarks that I acquired recently. Although how I came about these is a bit of a story. I found Craft'ed on Etsy before Christmas and ordered a few for my friends as presents. I was really excited for them to arrive but when they did they hadn't been completed, there were no magnets! I thought it was some sort of mistake so I messaged them and they apologised and sent out some more. But when the next set had arrived, they had sent me a mini Luna Lovegood for my friend instead of the regular sized one! By this point I was a wee bit miffed but they again apologised and said they would post one out straight away, this time with a little surprise. Which turned out to be the Hagrid bookmark you see below! Whilst it was annoying that I had to wait so long to get everything I'd ordered, I didn't mind too much because a) everything came in time for Christmas anyway and b) I got two free bookmarks out of it. I think it was juts because in the run up to Christmas they got more orders than they could really handle.


I think these bookmarks make really awesome presents and they look really great in a book. Craft'ed have so many designs to choose from and you can buy little sets of all the characters from one movie etc. For example, I bought my friend Sarah the Frozen set and she's using them to section off her subjects in her university notepads. There are so many different things that you can use them for! They fold over and have magnets in them so they 'clip' onto the page and save your page. I try not to, but I will often find myself reading more than one book at once so its really handy for me to have several bookmarks, that way I don't have to try and memorise my page numbers! The only problem I have with these is that the printed image gets a bit sticky when if humid/wet. When I was reading in the bath I picked up my Hagrid one and some of the colour came off the back and stuck to my finger! It was a bit annoying but I'll just need to keep that in mind when using them in the future!


What do you think? Aren't they adorable?

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Sunday, 18 January 2015

Perks From The Week




Sunday: I found out at 1:30am that I had passed my maths for science and engineering module with 73% booyah! I really struggled with maths in my last year of high school so to get an A in my first semester of uni is an amazing feeling.

Monday: A very kind lady in Scotmid telling me that me and my friends were all very beautiful and that we had nice jackets. My friends were waiting for me by the door whilst I was paying so it was a bit awkward as I was by myself but it was really sweet.

Tuesday: My 3 hours lab sessions that starts at 9am on a Tuesday don't begin until the second week of the semester. So that meant that I got to have a lie in. During the first semester I had 9ams every morning so a lie in is very rare!

Wednesday: I went out for a meal with my flatmates, its not often that we are all together at once so that was really nice. We went to Nandos which is pretty predictable but one of my flatmates works there so we got 40% off our food. Result!

Thursday: I bought my German textbook today and whilst I was in the store I found out that I could sell my physics textbook back to the store. I've been trying to sell it for a while and no one was interested so finding out I can sell it back to the store for 40% store credit is a relief. 

Friday: Started my new job! Safe to say it is much much better than my fast food job. Not as stressful and better paid. Plus we had a chippy for dinner afterwards. Nom.

Saturday: On Saturday night I went out to my friend Sarah's mum's 50th birthday party. We had a really nice night!


What have you enjoyed this week? 


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Thursday, 15 January 2015

Book Review: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

Hello everyone! Today I'm going to be reviewing The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart. Jeez, that's a mouthful! This is about a girl who goes to the same boarding school that her father did, she comes from a rich family but she doesn't really feel like they value her. Her dad and his friends are always talking about their secret society from school that is strictly 'boys only'. This year at school Frankie sees some clues that suggest this club is still going strong and she's determined to infiltrate it.


There's also a little bit of romance in this book. At the start of term it seems like the 'it boy' of the school has a thing for Frankie and they start dating. But very quickly she catches on that he isn't being entirely honest with her all the time and the romance gets pretty shaky. It did take me a while to get into this book but once I had, I found that I got really sucked into the plot and didn't want to put it down. I always kind of wished that I had gone to a private/boarding school so I really enjoy books that are set at ones. A lot of this story is focused on pulling pranks which is always fun to read about. At my school it was tradition that the sixth year would pull a prank on the last few days but unfortunately things got a lot stricter for my year and we were stopped from doing it.

One thing about this book is that all of the characters in this are really rich, They kind of flaunt their money around and they obviously don't think very much before they spend. They can do things like spend loads of money on something for a prank without batting an eye about it. I noticed this in E Lockhart's We Were Liars as well. Even though I love her books and writing, the characters all seem to have tons of cash and I just can't connect with them. There's like one character that's at this boarding school on scholarship and that's it!

Overall, I enjoyed this book and gave it 3/5 stars. I enjoyed it but not as much as I enjoyed We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. That was my 2nd favourite book of 2014. If you would like to keep up with what I'm reading, feel free to add me as a friend on GoodReads here.

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Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Blogger Interview - The Lilac Linnet

Hello everyone! Today I have another blogger interview. Today I'll be interviewing Llinos from The Lilac Linnet. Llinos is a fellow crocheter which is so exciting. I get told by a lot of readers that they would like to see more crocheting on Water Pained Dreams, I'm working on that but for now you could definitely find some on this blog instead! The Lilac Linnet also contains a lot of book related posts, a girl after my own heart!


1. Tell us a little bit about your blog?

The Lilac Linnet is where I discuss my daily life as a 27 year old living in Cardiff: hobbies such as crochet, the books I love and the progress I'm making with my novel.  I also write about the health issues which have affected me, such as cancer and depression.  My name is Welsh for 'linnet' so I paired that with my favourite colour to create my blog name.

2. What else do you do apart from your blog? University, work, hobbies etc?

I full time as an office manager.  When I'm not at work or blogging, you can find me reading a history book, crafting or playing with my guinea pigs, Maggie and Lily.

3. Why did you start blogging?

It looked like a really fun hobby and I wanted to create a writing routine in my life.  Blogging seemed like the ideal way to do that.  I also love connecting with other bloggers and getting to know them.


4. What is your favourite ice cream flavour(we ask the important questions here)?

I don't eat much ice cream but it has to be mint chocolate!

5. Are you a dog person or a cat person?

Hmm, I can't choose... I never used to like cats much but they've grown on me a lot recently.  I still get all soppy over puppies though!

6. Name your 3 favourite blogs?

You mean other than Waterpainted Dreams?  There are so many, but I'll say www.eatreadglam.comwww.littlemisskaty.co.uk and www.cassiefairy.com.  I love the variety of posts and the lovely ladies' personalities really shine through!


7. What are your favourite books?

I love historical fiction and murder mysteries!  I also love a book which gets under my skin, and my favourite authors are currently Liane Moriarty and Susanna Kearsley.

8. What is your favourite combination of pizza toppings(again on the imprortant questions)?

I'm not the most adventurous pizza eater, but I love ham and mushroom.

9. Tell us an interesting fact about yourself?

 can't whistle, I'm left handed and I have worn glasses full time since I was 16.  That's three!

10. Give us a link to your favourite blog post that you've ever written!

Just one post?  I will go for this one about life with one ovary, it's an important issue and I felt good about raising awareness of a difficult situation.
http://www.thelilaclinnet.com/blog/my-life-with-one-ovary
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Monday, 12 January 2015

My Favourite Disney Films

I've never really been one of those girls who loves Disney films. Everyone always says that they were such a big part of their childhoods but to be honest, I didn't watch many of them as a kid. In fact, I only saw The Lion King for the first time when I was 16(and I didn't cry). I also watched Frozen for the first time on Boxing Day and I hated it. Anna annoyed me so much, I find it so hard to understand why everyone likes her so much! So anyway, me and Disney movies do not mix as well as they do with everyone else. But I do have a few favourites. And since getting Netflix again, I've been watching a few oldies and discovering some new ones. So I thought I'd share some of my favourites with you!


101 Dalmatians - This has been my favourite since I was a little kid, it cracks me up so much. I love how at the beginning you hear a voice and you think that its the owner talking about how he has to look after his dog but its actually the dog talking about how he has to look after his owner. My dog would totally speak like that if he could talk. Actually, is it really that much of a surprise that I love this film so much seeing as I love dogs so much? Probably not! The 'human' version of this was the first film I saw in the cinema and I cried. When Cruella got baked in a cake. Because no matter how nasty someone is, baking them into a cake is not ok.

The Rescuers - Again, another one from my childhood. Although I don't think this one was ever as popular as some of the bigger ones. This is about two mice who work as 'rescuers' for those in need. This time they are trying to find a little girl who was kidnapped. This was really funny and whilst its an oldie(made in 1977) its still a great movie and I really enjoyed it. They made a sequel, The Rescuers Down Under, which I wasn't a massive fan of but its still good!

Brave - This is the only 'new' film on my list. I'm Scottish and to be honest when I heard that Disney were making a film set in Scotland I was dreading it because I didn't think they'd do a great job. But, I have to eat my words because I loved this one. Even though there are some inaccuracies I still enjoyed it. I really love the music in this one and the costumes. And another plus, its one of the very few Disney princess movies that isn't about falling in love!

Mulan - I watched this one for the first time before Christmas and I instantly fell in love. I would maybe even go as far as to say that this is my favourite of the lot. Its about a young girl who takes her elderly father's place in the army when one male from each family is called to war. She pretends to be a man and trains to help defend China. This movie was quite short but really interesting. The music was awesome, especially 'I'll Make A Man Out Of You'. There is a Mulan 2 which I watched on Saturday and I really enjoyed that too!

What are your favourite Disney movies? And what do you think of these ones?

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Saturday, 10 January 2015

What Makes Me Unfollow A Blog?

Hello everyone. Today I'm writing what may seem like a bit of a controversial blog post: what makes me unfollow a blog? Unfollowing is something that we all do, it happens to us all and yet we never talk about it. I'll notice my BlogLovin' follower count drop by one or two occasionally and sometimes it feels like a blow. But at the same time, I would rather that someone who doesn't enjoy my blog leaves rather than stays and gives me the false impression that I have x amount of happy followers. This blog isn't meant to be negative in any way and if any of these apply to you I'm sorry if it offends you. But when I asked if people would like to see a blog post like this a lot of people said yes, its clearly an interesting topic!


If someone is always getting into arguments on Twitter. Normally when I follow a blog I will also follow the blogger on Instagram and Twitter. But to me there's nothing worse than someone that will argue with anyone about anything. I can understand the occasional argument(I'm sure I've argued on Twitter before too) but you know how some people just seem to always have an argument on the go? That just really puts me off a blogger so even if their blog is great, I'll be giving them an unfollow.

Automatic music. You know when people have something set up on their blog so that as soon as it opens a page it starts playing music? This is just something that grates down on me and eventually I'll probably end up unfollowing. I know it seems petty but I normally watch YT videos/Netflix when reading blogs so when other music starts playing, its really distracting.

I don't feel like I get anything back from your blog. I'm a pretty dedicated blog reader. When I have the time, I'll go through my BlogLovin' feed and comment on every blog post there. So I'll normally comment on every blog post that's there. So if a blogger never replies to my comments, never replies to my tweets etc. Then to be honest I'll get a bit fed up. Yes I like their blogs but I'm sure there are other good blogs out there too. Obviously with larger blogs the volume of comments can be hard to keep up with but when smaller blogs don't reply to comments I find it a bit rude.

Change of topic. There are a few blogs that I started following that have since changed what they really blog about. A few have turned into parenting blogs after the blogger has a kid. And that's great for them but as a 17 year old girl I'm not interested. I'm happy for them, its just not something I want to read anymore.

I don't feel like I can trust their reviews. Have you ever seen a blogger review a product and then seen it in a blog sale a few weeks later 'just swatched'? Well they're either lying in the review, or lying in the blog sale so I find it hard to trust what they say. There are so many beauty blogs out there so why would I rely on one that I can't trust?

Have you ever unfollowed a blog and if you have, why?

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Thursday, 8 January 2015

Review: Lush candy Mountain

Candy Mountain is a bubble bar that returns to Lush every Christmas. Despite it being recommended to me every year, I had never tried it until I received it as a Christmas present. The bubble bar has a very sweet candy scent, more commonly known as 'snow fairy scent' by keen Lush fans. It contains a little bit of glitter and crumbles away under the tap to give a sweet, baby pink bath full of bubbles.


I really wish that I had stocked up on this bubble bar over the Christmas period because oh my god, best bath ever. The scent was perfect, not too weak but not too strong. After using this bath bomb, I just felt so relaxed. Normally I go for bath bombs over the bubble bars, I've just found that they have a wider range and I like the scents more but I'd forgotten how nice it is to have some bubbles in your bath. Next Christmas I am definitely getting another one!

What are your favourites from the Christmas range at Lush?

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Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Book Review: Please Ignore Vera Dietz

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A. S. King was the first book that I read in 2015 and it was certainly a good way to start off the year. I read some other A. S. King books in 2014 and she's became one of my favourite authors. Please Ignore Vera Dietz is about a girl whose ex best friend died in some pretty suspicious circumstances. She knows that she could speak out about Charlie to clear his name, but after he betrayed her, she's not sure if she can or if she even wants to. 


The way that this was written was very interesting. The story was told not only by Vera, but by her dad, 'the dead kid' and even landmarks in the town. The chapters were pretty short which I always find makes me read a book faster because when I reach the end of a chapter I normally HAVE to read on. The characters were really well developed in this book, even though there weren't many. I really got to know all of the characters very well and understood where they were coming from. Whilst at times I found Vera to be a little harsh towards her dad, I still found her to be a very likeable and character. 

The plot was very interesting and I feel like this book was the perfect length to draw out the suspense a little bit. There's nothing worse than when a book is rushed and way too short but also when a book is way too long because the author was stuffing it full of pointless and irrelevant information. A. S. King is known for writing books about really hard problems that face teenagers and I like that she is brutally honest in her writing. Most of her books are award winning and I can see why.


I really enjoyed this book but not as much as I liked her other ones which is why I gave it 4/5 stars instead of a full 5/5 stars. Also, I kind of guessed the ending which took away the 'shock factor' that I like about her books. I would still really recommend this however as it was a great way to kick off my reading for the year!

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Monday, 5 January 2015

Edinburgh Bucket List

When I moved to Edinburgh in September, there were so many things that I said I would do. But the reality of it was that university was a lot more demanding than I expected it to be and I was working all weekend in a job that I hated. I've switched my optional module of physics to German which should be much easier. Plus I've quit that horrible, horrible job which means I'll have some weekends to myself. I'm determined to make the most of this semester and have a really great time. When I saw Ellie's  London Bucket List yesterday I thought that it was a really good idea and decided to make my own. By the time I finish in May I would like to say that I can tick everything on this list off! Most of these cost money but I do have quite a bit saved up so I will hopefully have an amazing semester!

  • Climb Arthur's Seat.
  • Visit the Edinburgh Dungeons.
  • Hive(although not necessarily 'til five).
  • Go to the childhood museum.
  • Visit at least 3 other museums.
  • Go to my local library.
  • Visit the Village of Dean.
  • Eat out at 5 new restaurants.
  • Go back to 56 North because their fries are just too good.
  • Get an ice cream from Mary's Milkbar.
  • Visit the farmer's market in the Grassmarket.
  • See the pandas at Edinburgh Zoo.
  • Climb Calton Hill.
  • Many interestingly flavoured shots at Vodka Rev.
  • See some live comedy.
  • Visit the Scottish Parliament building even if it is really ugly.
  • Go to Dynamic Earth and pretend I'm a kid again.
  • Visit the National Museum of Scotland again.
If you've been to Edinburgh then what was your favourite thing to do there? If you have any suggestions then please leave them in the comments and I might add them on.

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Sunday, 4 January 2015

December Reading Wrap Up

Hello everyone! Today I'm writing mini reviews of all of the books that I read in December. This wrap up marks one whole year of reading wrap ups! I can't believe I've only been doing them for one year because they're my favourite posts to write. I wish I'd started doing them sooner! I read 7 books this month which is quite good but at the same time I think I could have read more seeing as I had so much free time with my Christmas break. I seem to have gone into a bit of a reading slump!


Girl Online by Zoe Sugg(questionable) -  Well hasn't this book been the centre of attention recently. Whilst I enjoyed this book I found it to be really cheesy and there were a lot of things in this books that I was unhappy with. If you'd like to read a review of this then you can do so here and you can also read my blog post about the whole ghost writing scandal here. I gave this one 2/5 stars.

The P45 Diaries by Ben Hatch - This is probably my least favourite book I read this month. The main character is just sort of floating through life, always getting sacked/quitting jobs. He frustrated me so much and as a result I just really did not enjoy the book. I gave it 2/5 stars and don't really recommend it!

Out Of The Dragon's Mouth by Joyce Burns Zeiss* - This is about a young girl who has to flee her privileged life after the fall of South Vietnam. She ends up living in a refugee camp on an island. I did enjoy this book but I found that when I finished it and looked back on it, not much happened in it. It was quite short and if it had maybe been a bit longer then it would have been much better. I gave it 4/5 stars. 

The Kill Order by James Dashner - After feeling pretty let down by books 2 and 3, I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I think I might have even liked it more than the first book. This tells the story of what happens before the Maze Runner and about the sun flares etc. The pace of this book was great, I didn't want to put it down once I'd started reading. Even if you didn't like the 2nd and 3rd books I'd still really recommend this! 4/5 stars. 

My True Love Gave To Me by Stephanie Perkins - I've reviewed this book in full on my blog already so if you want to read that you can find it here. This is a collection of short stories from a load of different YA authors, the perfect book to read in the run up to Christmas. I gave it 4/5 stars because even though I loved it on the whole some of the stories didn't really appeal to me. 

Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix - This one is one of the best books that I've read all year. Its set out like an IKEA catalogue which I think just looks amazing on my shelf. The story is set in Orsk(AKA fake IKEA) and every morning the staff arrive to find that things have been broken overnight. A few people stay for a night shift one day to find out what's going on. They get more than they bargained for. SO CREEPY. LOVED IT. 5/5 stars.

The Time Of My Life by Joanna Nadin - This is the latest book in a series that I've been reading since I started high school. They books are set in the form of a diary written by a girl called Rachel who lives in a small town in Essex. I've always found these books really funny and easy to read, even if I'm a bit old for them now I still really enjoy them and I think that this was the best one yet. Although I am so annoyed that they've changed the covers as I have all the other ones in the shiny editions and then this one doesn't match! I also gave this one 5/5 stars and as glad to have it as my last book of the year.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think?

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Friday, 2 January 2015

2015 Blogging Goals




1. Review more books. 
I talk a lot about books on my blog but its not often that I sit down and write a full, in depth review of a book. I'll post little mini reviews in my monthly reading wrap up posts but I want to talk more about what I like and dislike about certain books. There are many reasons why I didn't post as many book reviews last year, mainly because they don't attract a lot of attention but I enjoy writing them so this year I want to publish at least 3 a month. Providing I read 3 a month which I almost always do.

2. Use Pinterest more effectively as a marketing tool.
I installed a 'pin it' hover button above all of my photos on my blog but that doesn't necessarily mean that I always use it. This year I want to use Pinterest a lot more as I know that it can be great for sharing your post over a large audience and bringing new readers to your blog. Especially for food posts!

3. Blog more about what I crochet. 
I'm sure a lot of you already know that I love to crochet, especially if you follow me on Instagram. This year I would like to blog about crocheting a lot more. It sounds like a weird hobby for a 17 year old girl but I love that I can take a ball of wool and turn it into something that someone really loves. I think I might do a monthly round up of the things that I crochet. Or individual posts on bigger projects. I'm currently working on a blanket that I think is going to look amazing when its finished! I would also like to gain a lot more followers on Instagram from crochet based accounts. 

4. Improve my ad packages. 
I started offering advertising in June 2014 and whilst I've had a few people advertise with me, I'd like to make it a lot more successful in 2015. I don't really know what I'm doing wrong as my prices are pretty low compared to other blogs with similar stats. But I'd like to listen to feedback that I get from my advertisers and improve the packages so that they are the best they can be. 

5. Participate in more blogging chats.
Before starting university I used to take part in almost every blogger chat there was. And whilst it annoyed my followers that aren't bloggers, I loved it. But I've not made as much time for them and I really miss them. Plus I think it really helped keeping up the traffic on my blog and gaining new followers.

6. Grow my blog as much as possible.
I know everyone says that numbers aren't important(lie) I'd still like to grow my blog as much as possible during the year. Both in terms of followers and pageviews. I guess the ultimate goal would be to double my number of followers but I think that may be a tad too ambitious. Although I think if I follow my first 5 goals then it will a)open my blog to a wider audience and b) boost traffic, so it could actually be a lot easier than I'm thinking. 

What do you hope to do this year?


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Thursday, 1 January 2015

Top 14 Books of 2014

Hello everyone! Today I've got an absolutely massive blog post to share with you all. My top 14 books of 2014! These aren't necessarily books that were published in 2014, just books that I read this year. They also aren't in any particular order but I have mentioned my favourite and second favourite. Hope this post gives you some reading inspiration for 2015!


We Were Liars by E. Lockhart - Unfortunately I don't have a photo for this one as its one I read on my Kindle but it was my second favourite book of the year. Its about a posh girl who goes to an island with her family every summer and about how everything changes one year. Really gripping and there is a massive plot twist!


A Tale For The Time Being by Ruth Ozeki - This book was leant to me by my good friend Sarah and I read 75 pages of it when my bus home was delayed by half an hour. It is such an addictive book! This is about a woman in Canada who finds a diary that she believes has been washed up from the Japanese tsunami. Its split between the woman's narrative and the writing in the diary. So interesting and addictive, could not put down.

Me, Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews - This sounds like a really morbid book because its about two guys that befriend a girl with terminal cancer. Its actually one of the funniest books I've ever read, I even laughed out loud. It just makes you appreciate the little things in life.

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson - This is a book about teenage girls with eating disorders and its really interesting. It is a pretty heavy book to read and I imagine it could be quite triggering to people with/recovering from eating disorders. That being said, I think it puts across a good message and really gives you a goof perspective on the matter.


I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak - In this book a boy is just sort of floating through his life, working as an underage taxi driver and not getting the girl he wants. Then he starts to receive messages with addresses etc of people who need helped. Its a really interesting book and I found it to be a really addictive read.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson - This is probably one of my favourite books of the year. Its about sexual abuse and speaking out about it. Its written from the perspective of a girl in highschool who stops speaking all together after she is sexually assaulted at a party. I think this is a really important read.

Ask The Passengers by A. S. King - A. S. King is one of my new favourite authors. This book is probably my favourite out of all the ones she's written. Its about a girl who is struggling with coming out because of her family and because of the 'small town attitude' of the place she lives. I read it really quickly because King just has such a nice writing style.


Half Bad by Sally Green - This is a book set in a world where there are good witches and bad witches. The main character is 'half bad' ie half good witch half bad witch. Its all about the prejudices that he faces because of this. I found this to be really easy to read, I read it in a day. I enjoyed it and can't wait to read the next one!

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - Oh my god. This is just the most adorable, cheesy romance story and I LOVED IT. Spent the whole time with a grin on my face and it just made me so happy. I'm not normally someone who reads a lot of books that are specifically about romance but I really enjoyed it and would recommend.

Entry Island by Peter May - This is a signed copy as I had the pleasure of going to see and meeting Peter May at the Edinburgh Book Festival this year. This is a book set in Canada but has flashbacks to the Scottish Islands at the time of the highland clearances. This book was so addictive and may be my favourite Peter May book yet.


More Than This by Patrick Ness - This was my favourite book of the whole year, without a doubt. Its about a boy who dies and then wakes up in his old house in what seems to be a deserted world. He is completely alone. Or so he thinks. This book was so addictive and so bloody scary. I have never been so terrified whilst reading a book before. I read it whilst sleeping over at my granny's house and I was convinced something was going to jump out the wardrobe and attack me.

Severed Heads, Broken Hearts by Robyn Schneider - Moving on to a squishier book. This is about a guy in high school who is really popular until he is in a car accident that leaves him unable to walk without crutches. His popular, sporty friends kind of abandon him and he has to learn to survive on his own. Also some romance because you know, YA.


Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix - This is one that I read really recently but I still loved it. The book is set like an IKEA catalogue and is set in an IKEA like store(they couldn't really say it actually was IKEA due to copyright I think). Every morning the staff find that things have been broken but they can't see anything on the CCTV cameras. So a few members of staff go on a night shift to try and work out what is going on. 

How I Killed Pluto And Why It Had It Coming by Mike Brown - This is a book written by the guy who discovered Eris which led to Pluto being denounced from a planet to a dwarf planet. This book was so informative but so hilarious at the same time. I enjoyed it so much and it was unlike nothing else I read this year.

Have you read any of these books? What were your favourite books of the year?

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