12 November 2013

Book Review - The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton.

The Forgotten Garden, despite being nearly 700 pages long, is a brilliant, don’t-want-to-put-down kind of book.
forgotten garden
The book flicks between 1913, 1975 and 2005, and travels between Austrilia, London and the west country. I don’t usually enjoy books that flick between different eras, and the reason I only gave 4 out of 5, is at times the jumping back and forth does get slightly ropy, however aside from the small flaws it is enjoyable.
The book contains a nice mix of characters, however the main character Cassandra, who to her surprise inherits Cliff Cottage following her grandmother’s death, I couldn’t warm too. For some reason, I found her a slightly unlikeable character.
Cliff Cottage sits within the grounds of Blackhurst Manor, which is notorious with the local villagers for the secrets contained within it’s walls about the doomed Mountrachet family.
The cottage has been abandoned for years, and in the cottage’s forgotten garden, Cassandra unearths the truth about the family, and why her grandmother Nell was found abandoned in Austrilia in 1913, after a gruelling sailing from England. The only thing that Nell remembered from that time was a mystery woman she knew as the Authoress, who had promised to look after her before she vanished without a trace.
In 1975, we read about Nell, then an old woman, travelling back to England and being lead to Cornwall, were she discovers the Blackhurst Manor and estate, owned by the Mountrachet family.
This is the first book by Kate Morton that I have read, and has lead me to discover her first book,The House at Riverton.
I highly recommend The Forgotten Garden, it is a perfect summer read.

10 November 2013

#BritishBloggerSelection - About Me Q&A.



This is my first #BritishBloggerSelection weekly topic, and this week we are doing a Q&A/interview to get started and introduce ourselves.

Question one. Why do you like blogging?

I like blogging because of the escape it offers from daily life. My blog is my own, personal space were I can post about things I like and find, delicious recipes, inspiration for my home & garden, it's like a great, big scrapbook full of my scribbles and thoughts.

Question two. How did you come up with your blog name?

I am not that keen on the name of my blog, it's only now I realise that I really could have picked better. Sadly enough, I ended up using a random website name generator, and Beauty In Things was the first option it gave me. I liked it because my focuses on looks of different beautiful things; cosmetics, homeware, photography etc, so I thought it was appropriate.

Question three. Where from the UK do you come from?

I come from County Down in Northern Ireland, and have lived here all my life. There are some beautiful areas as well.

Question four. Favourite colour?

Hmmmm....tough choice. Pink is always on the tip of my tongue but I don't think it is my favourite colour. I would have to say lilac/purple, or ocean blue. 

Question five. Do you like Lana Del Ray?

No. I like her voice and some of her songs, and think she is talented, but I don't particularly like her. Sorry!

Question six. Hidden talents that you have?

Working with computers. It is thanks to my current job that I realise that I am actually really good at working with Excel and using it to it's full potiental - formatting, formulas etc, and can do some pretty impressive things with it.

Through blogging I have also realised I am quite good at HTML, and in using Photoshop. All the elements on my blog from the header, to the sidebar headers and social media buttons, I have made myself. I was quite huffed with myself when I was finished!

I am also quite good at cooking. I have an ability of opening the cupboards and creating something with whatever is there. It usually turns out quite well too!

 Question seven. Celebrity Crush?

Benedict Cumberbatch. Without a doubt. Especially as Sherlock, but he was pretty tasty in Tinker Tailor Solider Spy (even though his character was gay!) And just because, here is the man himself!


Question eight. Favourite blog of all time?

Oooh.....I would have to say Becky Bedbug. She is funny, and I love her quirky sense of style.

Question nine. What made you want to join the #BritishBloggerSelection?

I love the blogging community, it is so supportive and active. I have seen other Blogging groups and thought they were a great way of interacting with lots of different bloggers, and its a great way of seeing what others think of the same subject. 



Silent Sunday 008.






9 November 2013

#BritishBloggerSelection



Morning everyone. These is a quick post to tell you all about Ellie of Little Vintage Camera's blogging group #BritishBloggerSelection



"#BritishBloggerSelection is a group of British bloggers, it doesn't matter what your blog is about, it could be a lifestyle blog, a cooking blog, a fashion blog, beauty blog, you just have to be British! I'm not sure exactly when it will start but it will soon and I'll contact you when it'll start!


I started #BritishBloggerSelection because I saw blogs with badges such as #I'mPartOfThe30DayBlogging Challenge or #MinnesotaBloggers or something along those lines!


What's in it for you? If you participate in #BritishBloggerSelection, you'll get more blog traffic, friends with bloggers you probably didn't even know existed!

How this works: Each week on Saturday I'll send you a theme to blog about and from there you blog about whatever you want related to that theme! You don't have to participate in this every week, just participate when you feel ready! No one's forcing you to do it every week!"


If you want to take part, head over to Ellie's blog, and get in touch with her giving your name, blog's name & link and email address.

If anyone is taking part, let me know so I can check out your posts! 




8 November 2013

Christmas Shopping - NotOnTheHighStreet.com


I am sure many of you have now begun your Christmas shopping, but for anyone struggling for ideas, I thought I would share some of my favourite online stores were I have found some unique presents for friends & family.

In this post I am going to share with you some brilliant gift ideas from the unique online marketplace, Not On The High Street.

Not On The High Street's aim is to "hunt out the most original items from the best creative small businesses, and bring them together in one place, making it easy for people to browse and buy."

So far I have bought some lovely things from different sellers, and these are my favourite items I have found so far.






I love these prints from British illustrator, Alice Tait. I have actually bought both the Map of London and the South Bank London Map prints, both very reasonably priced at £21.50 each, for my boyfriend who visited London for the first time this year and loved it. I thought these would make nice momentos, and would look fab against a white wall in black frames.

I am planning on buying my brother the Map of New York print next. He visited New York for the first time this year, and loved it. He is quite a stylish guy (if I do say so myself!) and this would be right up his street! Again, this print is priced at £21.50.





"Sweet Cecily's is a pioneering natural skincare company specialising in the personal touch. Our unique formulas and flavours have been largely generated by suggestions made in forums on social media sites.

The project is part of an existing family run business which researchs and manufactures herbal medicines, this experience in the field has helped brother and sister duo Cecily and Hugo to develop a truly natural and handmade range of skincare products."
The Sweet Cecily's range includes lip balms, body butter, hand cream, face cream, clay masks and kits.  I love lip balms that come in different flavours, (I have my eye on the Lime and Mango!) but for my friend, who also happens to like lip balms and cocktails (her favourite being Mojito) the Mojito flavoured lip balm is a must!



I love Pickle Pies phone cases. I got one for my iPhone recently, and you have up to 16 lines to list all the things you (or your friend) loves. 

And there is a whole range of products which can be personalised as well as phone cases including, iPad cases, tea towels, mugs, lunch boxes and prints.

There is definitely something for everyone at Not On The High Street, so definitely have a look, and let me know if you see, or buy anything!




4 November 2013

Hello November!



I can't believe it's November already! How time flies. I hope everyone had a lovely Halloween!

Firstly apologises for the absences on my blog recently. I have also been quite quiet on Twitter as well. I have been feeling under the weather recently, and still do, but I have seen I have reached 20 followers! I have also had over 2000 views, and I have only been blogging since September. So a massive Thank You to all of you!



Now that Halloween is behind us, the madness & run-up to Christmas has well and truly begun! I have started my Christmas shopping, and have been visiting some of my favourite shops & websites to start buying presents.

I am also on the Christmas Tree countdown. Every year we have got a real tree from the living room, and since moving into my own home, this is a tradition that I am going to keep going. I love getting the tree at the start of the month - also to ensure I get to choose a good tree and not what's left the week before Christmas, so I am now less than 4 weeks until Christmas Tree buying day is here!


I find this time of year can also be good TV viewing. I am an avid Breaking Bad fan, so I am trying to find something to fill the gap it has left. Sky were recently showing the first 3 seasons of Boardwalk Empire, but have taken it away now that season 4 has begun.

But, I am waiting (with very little patience) for the BBC to begin showing the next series of Sherlock, starring the delicious Benedict Cumberbatch! And in honour of Sherlock, I have been on Polyvore (again), to create a Sherlock inspired outfit.



Sherlock