Stuff: UO Ruthie Velvet Floor Pillow



Random? Perhaps. But if you like to be comfy then I can’t see it being a bad thing. I bought two of these pillows for my daughter’s playroom with the thought that I’d buy more if I liked them when I saw them in person. Needless to say, I loved them and promptly went onto Urban Outfitters to buy 3 more but to my dismay they were sold out. So I’ve been obsessively checking in to see if they’ve put them back up and lo and behold, to my delight, there they were the other day, in all their muted pink, crushed velvet glory!! I quickly scooped up three more, not caring that they are backordered until February. My derriere can wait…

Paper: This Is Ground ‘Mod Tablet 3’




Keeping in the vein of organisation, The Mod Tablet 3 by This is Ground is the older, more sophisticated version of my last post, when it comes to a place to keep your goodies. I bought one of these bad boys a couple of years ago and it’s gorgeous. The leather is beautifully worn and flexible and just looks rich. I have it in this particular colour, which is called “Toffee” and it’s been fabulous for traveling and keeping all my important documents together as well as all essentials like my headphones, iPhone and most importantly, the pen & paper to fill out those customs forms!


Paper: Mochi Things

When I was little I was obsessed with going to the Sanrio store at our local mall, begging my dad to take me on the weekend to get a cute little Hello Kitty notebook and pen set. I can even remember crying when he said no, my addiction to all things cute and involving paper having started early apparently. Well, Mochi Things is like the big sister of Sanrio, still kind of cutesy but with a grown up feel. They have all the cool stuff to keep you organised, or at least give the illusion that you are.


Book Chat: The Sister


The Sister by Louise Jensen

From Amazon:

Grace hasn’t been the same since the death of her best friend Charlie. She is haunted by Charlie’s last words, and in a bid for answers, opens an old memory box of Charlie’s. It soon becomes clear there was a lot she didn’t know about her best friend.

When Grace starts a campaign to find Charlie’s father, Anna, a girl claiming to be Charlie’s sister steps forward. For Grace, finding Anna is like finding a new family, and soon Anna has made herself very comfortable in Grace and boyfriend Dan’s home.

But something isn’t right. Things disappear, Dan’s acting strangely and Grace is sure that someone is following her. Is it all in Grace’s mind? Or as she gets closer to discovering the truth about both Charlie and Anna, is Grace in terrible danger?

There was nothing she could have done to save Charlie …or was there?

My take:

So yeah, I’m on a roll with books that are reaaaaalllly good…Characters were nicely developed, although I did think Grace was a bit on the annoying side, I mean, who let’s some girl you just met go out with their boyfriend to some fancy shindig, is there not even a hint of something askew?!  Anyway, Dan was the obligingly nice boyfriend, or was he? The ghost of Charlie is ever-present which helps the reader to understand and almost feel the grief that Grace feels. And Anna, well, c’mon.

The storyline is something right off a Lifetime Movie but if you know me, I’m not above a good Lifetime flick! In fact, I quite enjoy a good revenge story and this one is certainly that! I love fast-paced prose where I can’t wait to turn the page and I’ve seriously been hitting the jackpot with this lately. The writing was nicely done too, very detailed and descriptive without droning on with non-essentials. Overall, I’d definitely recommend this book to friends, it was a fun read!

**Full disclosure: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.


Stuff: Fed + Fit Blog


Has anyone else checked out the blog Fed +Fit by Cassy Joy Garcia? I’ve just discovered it and let me tell you, GIRL CRUSH TIME! She is amazing! Her blog is filled with fantastically yummy things to eat that keep you healthy and satisfied, IF you’re paleo (mostly) that is. After stumbling onto the blog,  I recently discovered her Snapchat account, which is kind of a big deal because dude, I’m like 40-something and all these newfangled apps can sometimes be out of my realm. Like, I don’t even know what half of the new slang means and I’ve given up watching MTV because I don’t know any of the performers anymore. (Insert frowny face that no amount of Botox can remedy)…but I digress.

Back to Snapchat. If you haven’t checked out Cassy Joy’s account, it is a must do! There is something soooooo cute about her, when she talks for her dog ‘Gus’, I end up having a big dorky grin on my face. I love her quirkiness and her passion for helping others and she literally makes me happy, how great is that?!


Shiny Things: Mermaid Pillows


So I’ve been in love with this pillow by Aviva Stanhoff since my good friend gifted it to us ages ago and thought, what better thing to write my inaugural shiny thing post about. It is absolutely stunning in person and loads of fun to play with! I think my girls enjoy using it to lull themselves to sleep at night, scrawling little words and smiley faces all over it. I use it as a relaxation tool, it’s calming to just watch the colors change from gold to silver and back again. Can’t lie, it’s nothing you’d want to really lay on but then again, why would you, where would the fun be in that?!


Book Chat: The Summer Before the War


The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson

From Amazon:

East Sussex, 1914. It is the end of England’s brief Edwardian summer, and everyone agrees that the weather has never been so beautiful. Hugh Grange, down from his medical studies, is visiting his Aunt Agatha, who lives with her husband in the small, idyllic coastal town of Rye. Agatha’s husband works in the Foreign Office, and she is certain he will ensure that the recent saber rattling over the Balkans won’t come to anything. And Agatha has more immediate concerns; she has just risked her carefully built reputation by pushing for the appointment of a woman to replace the Latin master.

When Beatrice Nash arrives with one trunk and several large crates of books, it is clear she is significantly more freethinking—and attractive—than anyone believes a Latin teacher should be. For her part, mourning the death of her beloved father, who has left her penniless, Beatrice simply wants to be left alone to pursue her teaching and writing.

But just as Beatrice comes alive to the beauty of the Sussex landscape and the colorful characters who populate Rye, the perfect summer is about to end. For despite Agatha’s reassurances, the unimaginable is coming. Soon the limits of progress, and the old ways, will be tested as this small Sussex town and its inhabitants go to war.

My Take:

I read this book lightning fast, which for me can be difficult at times due to scheduling and overall attention span.  I love a good historical fiction book though and this one didn’t let me down.

It takes place in England, Rye in East Sussex to be exact and the time period is 1914. A young woman named Beatrice Nash is left on her own after her father dies and must seek a position teaching Latin in the Seaside town. Traveling to a new home, knowing not a soul, she is lucky enough to be welcomed by ‘Aunt Agatha’, ‘Hugh Grange’, and his cousin ‘Daniel.  Turns out though, they are all lucky to have each other.

While they pass the summer by, enjoying beautiful weather, adventures, and soirees, a war is brewing. It all comes to a halt when the men are sent off to war, refugees come to stay in their quaint village and the men and women get to see first hand the brutality of war.

This book was able to be light enough when it needed to be, in order to keep it from being a total downer even when there were some serious, sad bits to it. The characters were rich and likable (except the one’s that weren’t, ahem, Mrs. Fothergill!) and you truly felt the emotion coming from the characters, the good and the bad.

I thoroughly enjoyed it, and for being a big book, I was pleased to blow right through it. To me, that’s always the best review I can give. When you don’t plod through a book, it was a good one!

**Full disclosure: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.



Paper: These Labels Are Everything!!


If you’re anything like me, you’ve scrambled around at the last minute looking for an appropriate card to go along with that perfect gift you’re about to give. Or your kids are due at a birthday party like, now, and they still haven’t made their little friend a card to attach lopsidedly to the package you just very hurriedly wrapped (ahem). IF this sounds like you, these Erin Condren labels will save your bacon! They come in the most beautiful designs, stick to virtually anything, and look really lovely on that present that might otherwise look like crap. Seriously, I’ve gotten so many compliments on these things!

Currently residing outside of the United States (well, for the last 10 years actually),  I had no idea that Erin Condren was something you could buy at Staples. I mean, I’ve been buying notebooks and the likes from her website for a bit now and was soooo surprised when I was in Atlanta, walked into a Staples and saw an entire display of EC! I was mildly excited until I realised I still had loads of notebooks to use up before I could feasibly convince my husband it was necessary to haul some back on the plane. Ah well, until next time Staples…


Book Chat: The Butterfly Garden


The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

From Amazon:

Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.

As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding…

My Take:

I finally got around to reading ‘The Butterfly Garden’ (The Collector Trilogy) by Dot Hutchison after it sat on my Kindle for a while, being grossly overlooked. I think I actually tried reading it a couple of times but just wasn’t in the mood. Crazy lady! This book needs to be made into a movie for two solid reasons:

1. It rocked!
2. I was soooo not able to visualise the garden and its subsequent rooms so if Hollywood wouldn’t mind helping me out, that’d be great…

So, back to what I thought of the story itself, as I said, it rocked. It was so totally engrossing and while there were loads of names to remember and little things about the people who owned those names, it wasn’t convoluted at all and the plot really developed nicely. I always furrow my brow when the character seems to be too smart for their years and “Maya” was one of those characters. Perhaps I was a completely immature girl many moons ago and yeah, I still enjoy a good fart joke so maybe there really are kids out there who have Poe memorised, etc., who am I to say?!

The story moved along quickly and I found myself whizzing through the pages to see how it all ended. I’m not a spoiler so I’m not going into too much detail but suffice it to say that if you’re a fan of thrillers like Gone Girl, yada yada yada, you’ll probably like this one.

Anyone read it and care to share your thoughts?


Hello there!

Welcome hand drawn lettering against watercolor background. EPS 8 vector

Hi fine people! I’m getting revved up to start this thing, even though I know nothing about blogging and highly doubt people will even read it but it’s a place for me to put some thoughts on products I love, things I love to stare at (i.e., shiny things!), and book reviews. I’m an avid reader or I should say I would like to be but busy-ness seems to get in the way of aaaallllllllll the reading I’d like to actually do. But I do make time, oh yes, even if it’s a chapter a day, I work my way through. I’m a murder mystery type of gal but am not averse to good old contemporary fiction and historical novels as well. I like the idea of self-help books, parenting books, and health/recipe books but darn if I can see my way to the end of them (or the middle…or even the 2nd chapter, oops!).  I hope if you’re reading this, you’ll hang with me while I figure this whole thing out, and even enjoy a post or two along the way. Cheers!