Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Book Review: Sugar Hall by Tiffany Murphy

Sugar Hall by Tiffany Murphy is 'a ghost story' set in the 1950s in a classic rambling old mansion near the estuary of the Severn river, that divides South Wales from England.

Lilia has arrived at Sugar Hall, widowed and penniless, with her two children, teenage Saskia and young Dieter.  They've left behind a bustling life in London and are readjusting to this strange new life where cows roam outside the windows.  The story is a bit of a slow burner, but the descriptions are deftly enough crafted and the characters feasibly drawn to keep up interest as we wait patiently for something spooky to happen - as it soon does.

Sugar Hall

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Peacocks Summer Sale Dresses

I have been avoiding shops for a month or so now, as I am on a spending ban.  I've had a voucher burning a hole in my pocket though, one of those high street ones you can use in lots of different stores.

Finally, I broke.  I had a day to myself with nothing planned - so I headed to my local Peacocks yesterday, determined to spend my voucher on something I need, such as a sleeveless work-appropriate top for the heat, or a work-appropriate summer dress.

Their sale is really good, I have to say!  I saw lots and lots of things that I liked, including a fab selection of scarves from the Spring that I never bought, but are now reduced to £3 or so.  I headed to the changing room with an armful of dresses - all on sale between £8-£12.  Here's how I got on.

Trying on the first dress resulted in a predicament.  The zip got stuck halfway up.  I had to pop out of the changing room and ask a member of staff if she could release me, which she couldn't, so then I had two members of staff trying to get me out.  The zip would go up but not down!  I took some deep breaths and tried not to panic, joking to them that I'd have to wear it home.  I started to feel a bit hot and light headed, but just as I thought I'd have to ask them to just "RIP IT OPEN!!  LET ME OUT!!!", the zip was deftly unstuck and I was released.  The sales assistant helpfully said that she thought the thin fabric was getting sucked into the zip, as she had a dress that behaved similarly.


It looked so fabulous on that I decided to risk it, despite the zip, which on close examination I felt could be fixed by a few stitches alongside it to keep the fabric taught and out of the way.  I ended up paying for it with my own money though, as my voucher turned out not to be accepted in Peacocks after all!!  So much for trying to be good.  And so much for not buying any more party dresses, ahem...  I think I could get away with it for work though, especially in winter with tights, a cardi etc.

Peacocks Summer Sale

 Pink rose print '50s style dress, £12 (was £20 - I would have bought it at that price too!)

Friday, 25 July 2014

Review: Vanity Rooms & Spa, Cardiff

I'm keeping it local for this post, and want to mention a fabulous little salon and spa in Rhiwbina, a posh suburb of Cardiff.  Open since the end of 2013, Vanity Rooms & Spa is an Aveda salon that offers a full range of beauty services, from hair and nails, to complementary therapies.

Vanity Rooms

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Literary Notes: Anais Biguine's 'Junky' Perfume

A rather unique perfume offering today; from Jardins D'Écrivains comes 'Junky', a scent for both men and women, created by Anais Biguine and inspired by the novel of the same name by Beat Generation writer William Burroughs.  It's described as "unashamedly different" and I have to agree that I haven't sniffed anything remotely like it on the high street.  So much so, that I wasn't sure I liked it on the first inhale.  It was just a bit odd.  (I felt the same way when I first heard some of Burroughs' spoken word recordings.)  I took the plunge and squirted it on my skin, where somehow, after a minute or so, the odd first scent mellows into something heady and addictive.

Junky Jardins d'Ecrivians

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Beauty Roundup July 2014

I've done another little video just to chat through a few products I've used recently - two SPF moisturisers, a red lipstick (of course!), a liquid blush, and a hair protection spray.  Only 5 minutes long, hope you have time to watch it.


Do let me know if you've tried any of these products?  How did you get on with them?


Linkups:

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Gingham Hell Bunny Dress

Another black and white dress, I make no excuses - the last one was picnic check and this one is gingham!  I love a halterneck dress for warmer days, and this one by Hell Bunny has heart-shaped pockets and frilled trim to boot.

Gingham Hell Bunny Dress

Friday, 11 July 2014

Superdrug Launches Beauty Studio in Cardiff

Events are like buses - none for ages, and then they all come along at once!  Last week I was fortunate enough to be invited to the opening of the new Beauty Studio in St Davids shopping centre.  Beauty Studio is a new concept store by Superdrug, where as well as picking up your cosmetics, toiletries and fragrance, you can also have your hair, nails, brows and lashes attended to - a one-stop shop as it were, so that you can leave occasion-ready.

Superdrug Beauty Studio

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