The Me-Time Tag

9:00 am

I've seen this tag floating around Youtube for a few weeks now, loving the idea of it, but it was seeing the lovely Jennie completing the tag on her blog (check it out if you haven't already!) that prompted me to give it a go myself! I'm a strong advocate of 'me-time' and taking good moments out to treat yo' self as you are, obviously, your own best friend and most important person in your life. Get cosy and get reading!

1. What do you like to watch or read during me-time?

I'm a big reader so I love using me-time as a chance to get a good chunk of something read. Reading half a book in one sitting just feels amazing. As for watching, anything really! At the moment I'm a bit of a fiend for Ugly Betty but I've just hit the last season, boo! Something relatively stress-free normally works for me, like Gossip Girl repeats or a nice cooking video on Youtube.

2. What do you wear during me-time?

Day pyjamas, different to night pyjamas. Day pyjamas are what you wear when you want to feel active enough to get dressed, but don't really want to get out of your pyjamas. Just put on a different pair! Problem solved.

3. What are your favourite me-time products?

A good face oil, hand cream, Nuxe Reve de Miel lip balm, Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream, pillow spray, Balance Me face masks, and anything from The Body Shop!

4. Current favourite nail polish?

I'm being a bit boring at the moment and just sticking to clear. I haven't bought any new polishes in a while and I'm trying to let my nails strengthen up.

5. What do you eat or drink during me-time?

Chocolate mug brownie, or a big creamy hot chocolate. If I'm feeling savoury, normally a huge bag of cheese puffs! Classy.

6. Current favourite candle?

As always, the Vanilla Chai candle from Yankee. Perfect for the colder months and an absolute sweet spice delight.

7. Do you ever have outdoor me-time?

I like a good winter walk when I can wrap up warm, so long as it isn't raining! Popping on a podcast and walking through the woods can be so relaxing and a chance to get some good learning done.

8. Would you ever go and watch a film alone?

Whilst I was at uni I did a lot! Sobbing at The Book Thief alone was absolutely bloody brilliant.

9. Favourite online shop?

ASOS, although I try to avoid online shopping these days!

10. Anything to add? What else do you do during me-time?

Colouring books. Collages. Pedicures. Making dens. Spring cleaning.

Let me know what you love to do during your me-time by also doing the tag! I'd love to see the kind of rituals you have when it comes to relaxing and reflecting.

M x


Penguin's Book-A-Day Challenge: Days 24 & 25

10:31 am

The final two books!

Day 24 - For Father Christmas.
Imagination Illustrated: The Jim Henson Journal

I'd like to think Father Christmas has a sense of humour so this huge book on the work of Jim Henson seems like the perfect choice! I haven't had the chance to read this yet but flicking through it looks absolutely amazing. It's a huge volume that goes into a lot of detail!

Day 25 - Under the tree.
Batman: A Visual History

THIS. This is just the best. As a huge Batman fan, whether films, games, comics, whatever, this is the holy grail. Going through the most influential issues of the entire Batman run since the 30s, this book is the thing to read if you want to know all the dirty details about the Caped Crusader himself.

I hope you all had a lovely festive break, whether you celebrate or not, and that you're all feeling well rested! Please let me know what books you got for Christmas yourself in the comments below.

M x


Empties: Hits & Misses #1

9:00 am

Yes, the ever-popular 'empties' post, something I always look forward to when I see one on my feed. I love seeing how people feel about products, and also joining in with the excitement that comes with actually finishing a bottle of something! This collection of empties from me spans about four months and, fortunately, I've had a lot of hits and very few misses in the time. Let's get started...


SEVENTEEN Phwoarr Paint in Light - The perfect thick concealer for both undereye circles and to pop over big red spots when you want the extra coverage. Already repurchased.

Korres Jasmine Body Milk - Less of a milk, more of a thick cream in my opinion (and I'm not really a fan of thick body moisturisers), but the scent wins me over to this. Definitely interested in trying more of the jasmine range, however I'm not sure I'd repurchase this simply because of the consistency. 

The Body Shop Aloe Protective Serum - A soothing serum for sensitive skin. Did the job, my skin felt hydrated, but there are other serums from The Body Shop that I'd choose over this one. 

The Body Shop Coconut Milk Body Lotion - Absolutely in love with the Coconut range after using this. The scent is to die for and I love the consistency of this lotion. This is right at the top of my repurchase list.

Eau Thermale Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser - I've already repurchased this beautiful cleanser. It's perfect for the second cleanse of the evening after removing all of your makeup. Simple massage onto dry skin and wipe off with tissue or a cotton pad. Ta da!

The Body Shop Vitamin E Overnight Serum-in-Oil - I finished both a sample and a full-size of this, and I've already repurchased AND nearly used all of the repurchase too. In case you can't tell, I absolutely love this face oil. Holy grail. 

REN Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk - A lovely soothing cleanser. No huge issues with this, definitely will repurchase at some point.

Melvita Milky Cleansing Oil - A good cleansing oil, but not as effective as the Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Oil. Nothing wrong with the product, there's just better, cheaper alternatives. 

Origins Clear Improvement Mask - A sample of their dark charcoal face mask. This mask was absolutely amazing and I'd love to treat myself to a full-size version of this. 


La Roche-Posay Eau Thermale - Water in a can. I'm not sold.

REN Active 7 Radiant Eye Gel - A soothing eye gel but little to no effects were noticed. 

Malin + Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser - This broke me out like nobody's business, and it smelled like a cleaning product.

Rimmel Scandaleyes Precision Micro Eyeliner - Dried out in record time.

M x


Penguin's Book-A-Day Challenge: Days 13 - 17

9:00 am

Days thirteen to seventeen coming at you today in my catch-up for Penguin's Book-A-Day Challenge! There's a bit of an odd variety today with two Pratchett's, a stocking filler, an unread contemporary read, and The Wasp Factory.

Day 13 - Stocking filler.
Mini Where's Wally in Hollywood

I actually got this in my stocking a few years ago and jumped up and down in excitement as I LOVED Where's Wally books as a child. This is a cute mini edition and comes with a magnifying lens so you can feel like a true detective when scouting out the stripy man and his friends.

Day 14 - Read in school.
Iain Banks - The Wasp Factory

More like 'read in school and couldn't sleep for weeks'. The Wasp Factory is by far the most horrifying book I've ever read but also a modern masterpiece. A must-read if you want tension, shock, and a unique protagonist.

Day 15 - Favourite colour cover.
Ben Marcus - The Flame Alphabet

I guess this cover is technically cheating as it isn't one colour, but the flame pattern is undeniably beautiful. I'm yet to have read this book but the synopsis really drew me in. 'A mysterious epidemic has struck and the speech of children has become toxic.' Yeah, I know.

Day 16 - For someone I love.
Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman - Good Omens

For someone I love, I'd give them a copy of my favourite book. Good Omens is very dear to my heart and now is the perfect time to read it for the first time, then you can catch up with the BBC Radio 4 adaptation that started on the 22nd of December. I cannot wait for it as they've got some really amazing actors voicing the characters and the story is one that can be enjoyed by anyone. The world is ending on Saturday, just after tea...

Day 17 - Funny read.
Terry Pratchett - The Colour of Magic

Any of the Discworld books, really. I've only read a limited selection but I found myself laughing out loud reading the first of the series.

Check back tomorrow for selections eighteen to twenty-three! I hope you're having very happy holidays and are indulging in some lovely book reading.

M x


Penguin's Book-A-Day Challenge: Days 8 - 12

9:00 am

I'm sorry for such slow progress with this tag! As well all know, December is a hectic time of year for anyone, so thank you for waiting, it means a lot to me. Here are the days eight to twelve of Penguin's Book-A-Day Challenge, or Book-A-Whenever if you're as behind as me.

Day 8 - It's a mystery!
Agatha Christie - The Body in the Library

I think the lady herself, Agatha Christie, is synonymous with mystery naturally, so I've included today the first of her books I ever read. It's part of Harper Collins' Marple collection and it actually a smaller size than regular books if you can't see in the photo. I can't remember much of what happens in this story, but I know it sparked my interest in her writing and my collection has been growing ever since.

Day 9 - I judged this by it's cover.
Joe Meno - The Boy Detective Fails

I can't remember for the life of me where I first saw this recommended but it sat on my wishlist for a few years before one day I decided to treat myself to a little book haul. I'm still yet to read it but I really like the cover, the odd size of the book, and it's deckle edges.

Day 10 - Latest purchase.
Sarah Churchwell - Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of the Great Gatsby

I am a huge fan of the Jazz Age and Jazz Age writing, so when I saw this in my local bookshop for £4.99 I knew I had to get it!

Day 11 - Christmas classic.
Helen Fielding - Bridget Jones's Diary

Now, I consider the film version of this a quintessential Christmas film, so the book gets the same treatment. It starts with a New Year's party, so a little late in festive season, but you still can't deny those horrible jumpers and lumpy gravy. 'Just sieve it, Una!'

Day 12 - Book of poems.
Sylvia Plath - Ariel

I picked my most beautiful book of poems for this because, well, just look at the cover. It's absolutely stunning. I picked this up before I'd read The Bell Jar (which I've only read over the past summer and loved) but it gave me a taste of her wonderful writing and made me want more!

Thank you for persevering with me, and days thirteen to seventeen will be published tomorrow. I hope you're having a wonderful festive season and please feel free to comment on any books you'd pick for this challenge!

M x


Penguin's Book-A-Day Challenge: Day Seven

4:46 pm

When it comes to childhood favourites, there is nobody but Spike Milligan. Even today I can still pick this up and absolutely love it. I'd recommend it as a present for any children you're unsure of what to give this Christmas as it really has universal appeal. I thought I'd lost my copy and had to buy a new, smaller version to fill the void, only to find this hiding behind some other books! It even has my name written in my neatest handwriting from when I first got it.

M x


Penguin's Book-A-Day Challenge: Day Six

10:00 am

'Everyone should read' is something I could go on all day about, but I think my choice for today is an important one. So many people poo-poo reading comic books/graphic novels/whichever name you prefer and they're really missing out. I know it's the typical choice when it comes to introducing people to the genre, but it's an important book and one that changed the landscape of the way we appreciate comic books. I present Watchmen. Damaged, very human 'superheroes' who struggle to make the right decisions.

M x


Penguin's Book-A-Day Challenge: Day Five

2:12 pm

Day five and we're onto the category 'quintessentially British', and what's more British than University Challenge in the 1980s? Probably a lot of things, but I can't help but think of Starter for Ten when I think of grass quadrants, poor weather, and bad jumpers. It's also one of my absolute favourite books and fuels my obsession with University Challenge. Fun fact: I tried out for my university's team. I didn't get in, naturally. 

M x


Penguin's Book-A-Day Challenge: Day Four

10:00 am

'For chilly nights' is a category of book I know very well, being from the cold and dreary countryside of Britain. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love it! There's not much better for me than snuggling up with a warm drink, hot water bottle, and cosy socks, accompanied with a book. The one I have the most cuddled-up memories of is Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go. It's British countryside setting oozes knitted jumpers, wellies, and rainy days inside.

M x


Penguin's Book-A-Day Challenge: Day Three

10:00 am

Day Three of Penguin's Book-A-Day Challenge is all about what books are on my Christmas list. I usually just direct my family members towards my long wishlist of hundreds of books with nothing in particular weighing in above any others, but this year there was some direction involve.

The top of my list was Richard Ayoade's Ayoade on Ayoade, naturally. I'm a huge fan and I just know this is going to be bewilderingly surreal.

Next up is Chris Hadfield's An Astronauts Guide to Life on Earth, written on his experiences training on Earth as well as up in the stars. I can't wait to read about his views on life and how to live it as he seems like an amazingly positive and inspirational person.

Finally are the three Rookie Yearbooks, which I'm still shocked that I don't own considering how much of a fan I am of the site and Tavi Gevinson.

M x


Penguin's Book-a-Day Challenge: Days One and Two

10:28 am

I saw this post on the wonderful Book Journal, initially intended to be an Instagram challenge but shaken up by Jennie (such a lovely girl), and thought I'd give it a go myself. Posts have been very lacking around here lately, something I'll discuss another time, but a lovely book challenge is something I can't pass up, especially at this time of year. As I'm already a day behind, I'll be doing days one AND two today.

First up is 'iconic first line', and I bestow this award onto Franz Kafka's haunting moral tale of Metamorphosis. You can't deny how this line draws readers into the story, especially upon its first release!

Second for today is 'last read', which for me was the first volume of Kelly Sue DeConnick's 2011 Captain Marvel run, but I don't have a copy of that to take a photo of. Therefore we can settle with my previous read to that which was Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway A Room of One's Own which I'm writing an essay on currently. I love the cover of this edition, it's beautifully textured and part of Penguin's Great Ideas series. It's a definite life aim to get the whole collection.

I think this is such a lovely idea from Penguin and I'd love to see if you're completing any of these challenges too!
M x