Uncategorized · Reviews · Books

Review: Nora Roberts, The Obsession *****


  I recently read one of the Queen, Nora Roberts, recent publications, The Obsession. It is difficult to say you are up to date with Ms.Roberts as she seems to constantly have a new publication out, between her various series and pseudonyms, the woman is a machine. While I have been a long term fan of Roberts books, I admittedly mostly only read her romantic suspense stories as my personal preference is to have some drama in my romance, and I’m not great at reading a purely romance novel.
This novel is honestly my favourite of her publications to date. And while I don’t think it’s perfect, the plot hit so many of my catnips (a term I have learned recently from the Smart Bitches Podcast) and made it such a hard book to follow up. I couldn’t finish a book for a while afterwards and had to move genres to recover from the greatness of this book.

Blurb 

Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes and made him infamous. No matter how close she gets to happiness, she can’t outrun the sins of Thomas David Bowes.

Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, a rambling old house in need of repair, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the kindly residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up—especially the determined Xander Keaton. 

Naomi can feel her defenses failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she’s always secretly craved. But the sins of her father can become an obsession, and, as she’s learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away
Genre

So to outline, this book is a romantic suspense, a mystery/horror and crime novel. Personally, I would recommend this story for people who like some romance with their suspense/crime rather than someone who needs a lot of romance in their books. As it is a very crime, mystery, suspense heavy book (can you tell I’m struggling to define the genre).  I’ll leave it at romantic suspense, as my mother read this book after me and she equally loved it despite being much more of a pure romance reader.

Review

  So like I said I loved this book! So let me break down some of the ways.

This book has been written like two books in one, as the introduction to the overall mystery is a self contained mini book in the first six chapters. Admittedly this threw me initially as I wasn’t expecting it in what I assumed was a straight laced romantic suspense, I’m gonna try and avoid any spoilers, but this “mini book” is a little bit of horror crime story which sets up Naomi, our heroine’s, backstory. It is very ‘Criminal Minds’ meets ‘I Survived’, and I love crime stories so it a pro for me, but it is dark so I just want to let people know as it could be a con for others. As I mentioned my mum did read this book after me and had to come to me a couple of times just to get some reassurance that it got happier, she survived but she made it through.

(Trigger warning for anyone sensitive to stories involving rape and kidnap)

“She stood in the deep, dark woods, breath shallow and cold prickling over her skin despite the hot, heavy air. She took a step back, then two, as the urge to run fell over her.” 

Character

  Once you get through the intro into the main story we have a new beginnings style romance with a heroine I adored. Naomi is a strong independent woman, who has a successful career and has taken on a big new project and a new life chapter, restoring and renovating a big house on the coast, settling down for the first time in her life. Naomi grows throughout the book, fulfilling everything I love about a heroine who can save herself and overcome her own fails. She is best thing about the book however there are so many aspects to love!

Romance

  There are multiple romances, in my opinion, as there is not just the romance with the lovely hero but there is a dog romance, which is something I love. (Cons) As one of the few cons of the book, other than the initially slow pace, was that for a long time I found Naomi to be quite an emotionally stunted and distant character which I found difficult to grow attached to. Until the dog came along! Which is so sweet and is a real character builder and makes Naomi so personable and much more relateable. However this is not to say that the hero is outshined by the dog, Xander, our hero is great. He is a reader (swoon), a dog lover and is happy for a woman to be independent and solve her own problems. While being caring and heroic enough for the romantic suspense aspect of the book and willing to give her a kick (or a hug) when she needs it. 

Suspense

  However along with the romance is the suspense and mystery aspect of this book which is just great. With the dark introduction I felt that there was a low laying level of tension throughout the book, just waiting to emerge. However as an avid crime watcher I love trying to figure out the mystery in a novel as I go (and preferably before we are told by the plot) and this book had me held in the mystery right until just before the reveal, And it was so good!  The suspense aspect of this book is a very gory and crime heavy plot, which I felt was a little darker than can be expected for Nora Roberts but with all the great qualities of a Roberts romantic suspense.

Small plot bunny 

*Now it’s not a bad spoiler but Naomi’s brother turns up in the book later on and I really want Nora Roberts to write his book! So if somehow Piatkus see this, please ask her! 😆

Conclusion

  I loved this book and I am still trying to recover and find a new read to match up. The balance of romantic to suspense was perfect to me, as I like a dark, strong mystery but with a clear, defined romance with strong characters, especially a strong female character who loves what she does and knows who she is. Highly recommend.

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Tea Blog · Uncategorized

Tea blog: the travel bug

I have been working my butt off for the last few months in prep for June, a month which was supposed to be purely full of birthday fun and travel. Although I realise that you have seen very little of it as life, as it tends to do, has decided to throw a few curve balls in my path. So far I have just had to learn to work within my limits and focus on one project at a time- otherwise I may end up putting myself round the twist.

My plan for June was all about about friends and family- and while I have managed to do all these it has not all been as relaxed as I had hoped it would be. I am currently typing this post from a shady sun bed by the pool in Portugal so to say that there has been no relaxing would be an exaggeration. However events at home have made it more difficult to turn off and appreciate where we (as a family) are at.

My birthday was on the 23rd of June and part of my celebration was a visit to friends living in London. Just a few days of hanging out and sight seeing with my girls who I haven’t seen in person since last October. However the highlight of the trip was going to see the two shows of Harry  Potter and the Cursed Child which is currently showing in London on Saturday the 18th of June. Now respecting JK’s wishes and not wanting to ruin it for anyone waiting/wishing to go see it I won’t write a review/spoilers. However I really enjoyed the experience, re-entering the HP universe and the characters we all love. The special affects in particular were amazing. However the plot in my opinion wasn’t what I was expecting – but in agreement with my friends – it is best to view the play as a Christmas special. Something out of the norm, which allows you a special glimpse into the world however the events have no effect on the story or really progress the plot in anyway. Overall, truly worth a visit and really funny.

While in London we also managed to squeeze in a couple of visits to West End live which was happening the same weekend in Trafalgar Square. We saw Wicked, Matilda, Guys and Dolls, Stump, Triller and The Lion King. They each performed a couple of songs from their performance (although it felt like we saw the entire Thriller play) and they were all great. However the stand out by far for me was The Lion King. They performed three song and the music, the performance, the choir were just amazing. I have seen glimpses of the play from tv etc but I would truly love to see the whole thing if they ever tour again or when I manage to get back to London.

After this it was almost time to go, however we squeezed in a cinema date to see the new X-Men Apocalypse which was great, really taking the plot back to the days of the cartoon which is where I developed my love of the series. And quick pop into the udderbelly comedy festival before flying back into Belfast.

After a very quick repack we (as a family this time) flew out to Portugal we landed on the 22nd and the EU referendum for the UK was on the 23rd and waking to hear that the UK had left the EU has been a source of much stress and fear over the last few days, not only for myself but friends and family. This turn of events compounded changes with work which had conspired the week before my holidays began.
I have been forced to relocate or ‘transfer’ with work to a branch were I have had some negative working experiences which is also further/more awkward to reach. And this relocation is almost immediate, as I am to start work there upon my return from annual leave, which is stressing me out quite a bit. I am also returning to work after being out of the loop quite a bit, as the company I work for is an EU based company was branches in the UK and so far, I have not heard what the consequences for Northern Irish companies has or will be, which is just adding to my stress levels. I am only 24 but with job offers, rejections, relocation’s and political upheaval I feel this might be what a quarter life crisis feels like. However I am staying positive, continuing to work on my c.v., applying to jobs where I can use my skills more and working on myself mentally and physically.

Thank you for taking the time to share in my mental debrief.

Sincerely,

Maebhe

Reviews · Tea Blog · Uncategorized

The Secret Anime Lover

So something i haven’t spoken about a lot on my blog is my love of anime. And this is something that has grown in recent years, even more than i was when i was younger and it was maybe slightly more acceptable to watch cartoons. Compared to now when i am watching anime and someone walks in and all they can hear is Japanese coming out of the laptop and then cast a questioning stare at me and all the decisions i have made so far in my life… 🙂

However genuinely i have have renewed my love of anime in the last year as i have re-watched old favourites from university, caught out with follow up seasons and discovering some new favs!

Old Favourites

So as you will soon be able to tell my taste in anime as changed a little recently. However my original love was ALL about the romance, fantasy, non-fantasy, didn’t matter as long as it was all about the romance.

One of the first anime i found (after all the studio ghibli of course) is Kaichou-wa Maid Sama, a high school romance drama which is unique because kick ass heroine, Misaki, works at a maid cafe (a uniquely Japanese situation, these are a brand of cafes where the employees dress up as the stereotypical french maid and have a cosplay like attitude when serving customers). Sounds weird but its really funny in the situation and it works for enhancing the drama between the protagonist and her romance Usui, he enjoys teasing her about her employment way too much. But it is all very lighthearted and pg13, so its sweet to go back and watch.

Another fav that i genuinely have watched in a very long time but loved is Inuyasha. I’ll be honest this anime is probably the longest anime i have every watched all the way through and i doubt i ever be able to watch it again because of the length but it is great, and is an important mention as it inspired me to watch one of my new picks coming up. In comparison Inuyasha doesn’t have the same romance focus as Maid-sama but it is prevalent throughout. My only pet peeve was how long it took to conclude their romance, however the adventure fantasy element of this anime is what held my attention more than romance. Inuyasha, who is also our main character, is a feudal fairy tale where our female protagonist Kagome falls through a portal into the past and collides with Inuyasha who is a fox demon and goes on many adventures! (without getting into the nitty-gritty of the plot). It is also a really funny which is another element which i find essential in any show i want to watch regularly.

New Content 

  Junjo Romantica is a “storm of romance” (quote taken from myanimelist.com) and this really is the best way to describe it. As there are three couples/romances taken place during one season and while each episode is dedicated to one at a time, you can spot the links throughout. An important note is that this is a Yaoi or ‘boys love’ romance but i believe that love is love, therefore i don’t need my romances to hetero to enjoy them, but i realise not everyone is this way and that’s okay. Again this is another really funny anime in between all the romance content as all the characters are a little cookie. There is also a spin off series called Sekaiichi Hatsukoi which is all based around a manga publishing company and the publishing graduate in my adore this aspect of it. However there is book, publishing references throughout both series, yeah!

The first season of Junjou was release on 2008 and season two in 2012, with seasons one and two of Sekaiichi being released in 2011. I can remember binge watching all of these in 2012 and then scarring the internet looking for news or rumours of a follow up season and got diddly! Everything said there was no nope, and every now and then following a re-watch i would search again and still nothing…until this year! When i went searching for Junjou on youtube i also discover Joujou Romantica 3!! I had heard nothing about, somehow seen nothing online, and consequently lost a whole weekend with very little sleep watching the whole season which was thankfully out. Now i need season 3 of Sekaiichi.

New Series

I have three series i am in love with this year!

First is Kamisama Hajimemashita, it’s not brand new, being in  its second season however i feel that it is slightly less well known and under appreciated. I mentioned that one of my new animes was discovered through a classic and its this one. This anime ties back to Inuyasha as they both has a strong focus on Japanese Folklore and tradition, with gods, demons and adventure. However unlike Inuyasha, KH has much stronger romantic and humorous elements, and this is why i feel that this anime is really worth a watch.

Next is Ore Monogatari or in english, My Love Story is a high school romance but with a bit of a twist. Gouda our lead is a huge dude, great at sport and heroics but not so much with the ladies. Until he rescues the teeny tiny Rinko and its is love at first sight, following which humour ensues as Gouda tries to understand the world of romance. Now it did take a few episodes for this series to grow on me but it is a really light and fluffy watch.

The best has been saved until last: Haiykuu!! Sports anime has never been something i had really watched but i have learned to love it. However i had heard good things about Haiykuu!! so i decided to give it a shot and it is absolutely amazing!

Haiykuu is all about a high school Volleyball team and their battle to reach the championships – sounds like a basic plot right? – but it takes sports to another level. Our lead Hinata is shorter than average player who joins a team alongside his archenemy Kageyama, an incredibly skilled setter, and these two form a unusual duo as their skills combine and bring their school to success. They are able to combine sports and competition with a lot of humour and this is what keeps you coming back every week.

Another couple of great examples of sports anime are Kuroko No Basket, Free! and Yowamushi No Pedal (love them all).

End

I don’t want to get into every anime i have ever watched and liked but i hope this gives people who are new to anime a few ideas and possibly encourage people to give it a try! If you have any recommendations please leave them below, i love hearing from you guys.

Thank you,

Maebhe

 

 

Beauty · Uncategorized

Updated-Review: Gwen Stefani for Urban Decay

So i am still not a Beauty Blogger however i recently purchased two lip products from the Gwen Stefani collaboration with Urban Decay and i am a little obsessed, so i really wanted to share them with you. Plus they are just gorgeous! It truly is some of the prettiest packaging i have seen for a cosmetic range and very true of the brand that Gwen has developed through her music and clothing range, Lamb. I have been a big fan of Gwen Stefani, both her music and her style since i was in high school, so once i heard that she was working with urban decay to bring out a make-up range it was something i had been keeping an eye out in Debanhams. I was really excited to finally see it in stores in Northern Ireland. The eyeshadow palette is also lovely looking however i am not very adventurous when it comes to working with powder shadows, but i love a bold lip.

Packaging

The packaging is very indicative of Gwen’s song with Akon, The Sweet Escape. However it also reflects on her love of monochrome and metalics which can be seen through out her clothing line. Both the boxes and physical package rock statment metallic, however the boxes also have pink polka dot lining. I also think these will make great handbag lippies, a true statement colour for days when my face is feeling a little bland or you need to transition your make up from day to night in a hurry.


Colour

I purchased the matching lipstick and lip liner in the colour Rock Steady, a deep raspberry red tone. Its a unique red, different from anything i owned prior but i am excited to wear this colour out, both casual and for more formal wear.

 

Finish

The true colour pay out of these products really haven’t been done justice by my amateur photography, the colour is much stronger and pigmented than is shown here.

The finish of the pencil lip liner is matte, the pencil is also very creamy and easy to apply, however it is also very staining, when i tested it in store, even after washing my hands the colour was still visible by the end of the day. A benefit when wearing it out for a night but just requires some caution when applying.

In comparison the lipstick is a satin finish, much glossier but with a similar colour payout. When worn together the colour is very dark  and dramatic, slightly 90’s grunge which i love.

Don’t have anything planned at the moment but i will try and get some photos wearing it and show it off. But this is just a quick post to share a new purchase, when i get a chance to wear it a bit more i will up date you on it.

Back soon!

Maebhe x

!Update!

Okay so i have had time to get some proper wear of both the lipstick and the liner and being honest both have issues.

The Lipstick is probably the most difficult but unlike any other Urban Lipstick i own, this colour travels so much when i tried to wear it, with or without the liner. Every time i tried to wear it, i would end up with colour on my chin/cheek etc when i tried to drink anything or if my hair touched it.

The liner is better but even then , this liner is so soft and easy it is great for when you apply it. However it never really sets so again it still moves. I usually wear my other urban liners with just a chapstick over them, that totally doesnt work here. As it just unsettles the product more, so it is best worn on its own.

I do still love the colour but you just need to be careful where you wear it. Definitely not a date/valentines day!

Hope this helps some of you interested in this product & let me know what you think.

Crafting · D.I.Y Projects · Made by Maebhe · Tea Blog · Uncategorized

Craftie: Sewing for beginners

Hellos!

So i mentioned in a recent post that i had signed up for a beginners sewing class in Belfast, inspired by my recent sewing machine purchase. I have always loved crafting but sewing is something i have only ever made the MOST basic attempts at i.e sewing on a button or sewing up a rip. However i love vintage clothes, and part of the shopping for vintage clothes is keeping an eye out for a great find rather than shopping for a size.

So far the idea of altering a piece of clothing has been daunting. Now, i do have a few pieces i’ve purchased that didn’t fit and paid someone to alter for me, often paying more than the purchase price to have it altered. My favourite vintage find is a gorgeous real silk, Chinese style dress which still had the tags on it which i found in a charity shop in Antrim of all places, for a fiver (£5)!! Then paying a small fortune to have it altered from a UK size 14 to a UK size 8 but i adore it, although totally haven’t been able to find the right venue to show it off at yet.

I know altering clothes is a long way off but I had to start somewhere and this class really did set a good foundation to learn from.

The Class


The class was at Lizzie Agnew’s studio on Queens Street Belfast. She is an award winning bridal designer from Northern Ireland, creating gorgeous vintage inspired gowns. I discovered The Lizzie Agnew School of Dressmaking through an evening of google hunting for some local basic sewing classes.

Lizzie was lovely, and there were only 4 girls in the class (myself included) which meant that we were able to get the personal time and assistance necessary when learning a new skill. Even though in the class i was working on a much older, industrial model of a sewing machine i was able to develop a basic understanding of sewing machines. So when it came to starting up my machine, for example threading the bobbin, even when i came across difficulties i was able to take me time and fix the problem rather than panic.


  In the class we were taught how to hand sew buttons and hems, basic machine use, machine hemming, and reverse stitch. Using the reverse stitch was honestly the most difficult part and demonstrated something i didn’t know was such a necessary skill for any basic sewing project.

  Lizzie Agnew’s School of Dressmaking offers a ranging of sewing classes from this one day course, to 8 week foundation dressmaking courses through to a bridal dressmaking course for sewing pros at varying prices. Anything beyond the absolute beginners class is a bit pricey for me right now, but maybe in the future once I’ve had some practice. I have made some basic sewing attempts on my machine now, but I am going to make a separate update post 

  More sewing updates to come soon.

Maebhe x

Beauty · Reviews · Uncategorized

Beauty Favourites 2015

So new year and i want to diversify, i know i will never be a beauty blogger full time but this is something i have been learning more about and am determined to try. Honestly i am more invested in skincare than cosmetics purely, because when my skin is at its best i don’t feel the need to wear as much make up, as much i am learning to enjoy playing with make up looks.

So below i have chosen a few of my favourite cosmetics to share with you with some mini reviews.

First is Lips;

Below is my favourite combo of lip products at the moment

First i have 6 of the seven colour’s of the Bourjois Rouge Edition; Velvet. These are Bourjois’s liquid to matte lipsticks and they are my favourite as they are really easy to apply, solid colour in one coat and as soon as they set that is your lip colour sorted for the day. Very rarely do i ever have to apply a second coat.They are also the most comfortable lipsticks i ever wear as i don’t feel dry or tight, just velvety as they are described. I also love them for the winter periods, as my lips always get very dry and these don’t make them look even dryer.

The colours shown below are;

first row, l-r: Peach club & Nudist

Second row, l-r Grand Cru & Hot Pepper

Third row, l-r Pink Pong & So Hap’pink

These are showing quite well except for the red tones on the second row, as Grand Cru is a very dark purple red and hot pepper which is a very true red with a blue under tone, easiest way to wear red i have ever found. This is my current favourite colour combo, Bourjois in ‘Beau Brun’ with urban decays lipliner in ‘liar’. This colour is a burnt red/nude colour, its hard to describe but it is my favourite everyday colour which is both dramatic and wearable.

Liar is also beautiful on its own although it is more of a nude brown tone, rather than a red tone.

 On my no lipstick days when i am just trying to fix my dry lips or mostly when i am in work stuck in a room with air con on all day, Elizabeth Arden’s 8 Hour lipstick as well as their 8 Hour gel, not shown here, is amazing. Super moisturising but light and not sticky, it doesn’t taste amazing but it works so well but i don’t care.


Next for the Eyes;

Next is a recent discovery from the very end of 2015, but it is absolutely worth the mention. Prior to discovering this mascara from Wayne Goss’s Youtube channel i was set on the Urban decay Perversion mascara, but it is 3 times the price of this Boots own brand mascara, Falsifeye HD in blackest black. Two coats creates really long, black lashes, which doesn’t flake and is build-able and its only £6!!!

My second must have product is Maybelline Colour Tattoo 24hr creme eyeshadow, my two favourite colours are ‘On and On Bronze’ and ‘Creamy Beige’. These are both great for everyday wear on their own but i love to use these as a base for powder eyeshadows.
Lastly, Foundation;

Here are the three foundations i have been using all year, now to be honest i haven’t quite found my perfect foundation yet but these are all great for different reason.

1)Lancome’s Teint Idole Ultra 24H, Colour 010

This is my work foundation, it stays all day and doesn’t move despite how oily my skin is which is my main problem when it comes to finding a perfect finish, also the color is close to perfect. This is the lightest colour Lancome makes but it is still maybe one shade too dark, too yellow toned while i have a pinker undertone.

2) Urban Decays Naked Skin, Colour 0.5

This is my favourite foundation when it comes to colour and how it feels on the skin. However, despite the fact the Urban claims that this skin is designed for oily skin, if i wear this makeup to work it separates half way through the day and looks patchy. However on a normal day or night out it is a great foundation.

3) BareMinerals, Complexion Rescue BB, Colour Opal 01

Compared to the other two foundations this is a tinted hydrating gel creme. It has a very light formula which gives a very light amount of coverage. However this was my favourite to wear during the summer, especially while i was away in Portugal with my family. This was especially because this BB has an SPF 30 but is very comfortable and i was able to wear it even when i was away paddleboarding and i didn’t get burnt despite how easy my skin is effected by the sun.

 

This is just an overview of my favourite products and i hope to do another post focused more on skincare later in the year when i master my skincare routine. As is becoming a pattern i would love to hear your feedback on this post as i work to improve.

Maebhe

Book Hauls · Books · Uncategorized

December Book Haul

So Christmas is over, the madness of the new year has passed, resolutions have been made and broken and life is slowly returning to normal. So this felt like a good time to pull out the books i received over the holiday period and have only recently had a chance to properly look at.

To any who have followed my book related content for a while now these have a slightly different theme from normal, as most of my books to date have been heavily focused on fantasy and urban fantasy with little straying. In comparison these books were gifted as part of my plans for this year, inspired by my recently purchased Sewing Machine.


I bought this with absolutely no background knowledge of sewing, only a passion for vintage and a long held wish to give sewing a shot. A little bit spontaneous for me when it comes to my usual shopping habits but i am really excited. So as part of my Christmas pressies my family got me a few sewing machine and general sewing books starting from the foundations of using a machine through to simple projects and tutorials.

I also bought myself this book called the Teeny Tiny Gardening book by Emma Hardy which includes inspiration for the little terrariums i love the grow/design as well as a lot of inspirations for using succulents in small places. Its a lovely little book with some beautiful photography in it.
   My last purchase was a more recent one, last weekend to be precise and it appealed to the book nerd in me so much that i simply could not walk away without purchasing it for myself.

In the following picture you can see the Harry Potter book clutch i managed to purchase at the local St Georges Market in Belfast. Now sadly i don’t know where else you would be able to purchase this awesome bag but if i can find a link i will add it below or share it on my social media somewhere.
   When i saw this book clutch it was the only Harry Potter one left in between a couple of other random books. only after i purchased it was a shown by the lovely lady at the stall that it  came with a Harry potter coin purse as well as a long shoulder strap chain which suits me better than just a clutch bag, because i am usually too lazy for clutch bags.

The only slight peeve i have with this purchase is that the cover is the american title version, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone rather than Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. But i still love it and can’t wait to use it, but i don’t think i’ll be using this as a work bag.

So I am going to start a new series to keep a record of how my sewing experience develops and share any skills i manage to develop as part of this adventure. If any of you would like to learn how to use a sewing machine alongside me and i hope this is something that you would be interested in, i would love to hear what you think about this idea and what you would like to learn about if there is anything specific.

Short but sweet,

Maebhe

Beauty · Reviews · Uncategorized

Chanel Illusion D’Ombre, Rouge Noir

Hellos

So i am going to open this post with a huge disclaimer. I am by no means a beauty professional, i have no qualifications and everything i know is self taught/researched. All products were purchased by my little self and all opinions are my own, so take from them what you will.

So I recently discovered that as part of their Christmas campaign this year Chanel has relaunched the 1995 classic ‘Rouge Noir‘, and it is all truly gorgeous.

Chanel Illusion D’Ombre, Rouge Noir

Chanel-Rouge-Noir-christmas-collection
Chanel Rouge Noir Christmas 2015 (Image Source: Marie Claire)

I discovered this re-release through the amazing Caroline Hiron, skincare expert, blogger and YouTuber. She is a continuous source of entertainment and knowledge, and the reason behind my skin’s improvement in the last few months. In one of Ms Hirons September vlogs, she previewed some of the Rouge Noir pieces she had received and I simply fell. It has been twenty years since Rouge Noir’s initial launch following its premier in the cult film Pulp Fiction were it was wore by Uma Thermin. Its re-release has had quite a buzz as it is considered an iconic colour by Chanel and even collectible, resulting in it being sold out numerous times as i experienced today, as it was already sold out at Boots but i was able to snap up one of the last four at House of Fraser. At the moment the possibility of buying everything in the collection is beyond me, so i settled on my favourite product;

Brand: Chanel, Illusion D’Ombre Longwear Luminious Eyeshadow

Colour: Rouge Noir

Price: £24 (Boots) £25 (House of Fraser)

IMG_0402

Review

This is a cream formulation eyeshadow unlike any i have previously owned. One of my favourite cream shadows which i wear daily is the Maybelline 24hr Colour tattoo in On-and-On Bronze. It is a great eyeshadow for everyday wear and is an essential part of my quick morning make-up routine, however this is completely different, specifically the consistency and the finish. Where the maybelline is very shiny once applied and makes a great base for other powder shadows, the Chanel transforms from cream to powder when applied, without the fall out. It is also a really build-able colour, where it can go from a light shadow to a deep, dramatic smokey look.

I genuinely only bought this product today and after returning from my day Christmas shopping in Belfast i have taken off my original eyeshadow and put this on, so i am sitting in my fluffy pajamas with my fancy Chanel eyeshadow on trying to take a photo which shows how lovely it is in real life. On the eye it is purple, black, brown colour with a purple sparkle in the finish, which isn’t glittery which made me extra happy because glitter is not something i like in my eye looks.

So i tried to take a couple of photos but my photography skills just clearly weren’t up to the mark.

IMG_0394

However, i hope that this little video can capture some of the quality of the shadow, its iridescent quality and a better demonstration of the colour.

I already have plans for this being my new go to colour as well as being my look for my work Christmas do which i already have my outfit for. I am planning on this being my first OOTD (laughing at my miserable use of YouTuber terminology). But this is a start, i hope you’s like and i would love to hear your opinions.

mwah, Maebhe

Crafting · D.I.Y Projects · Made by Maebhe · Uncategorized

MadeByMaebhe: Terrarium or Fairy Garden

So as seems to be the course of my life at present – I have been sent another curve ball, although this one is a little more positive, I got a new job – not exactly where i want to be career-wise yet. Its a nice progression but it has been an adjustment and the cause of my most recent leave if absence.

However during this down time i have discovered a new love….Gardening. It has been fun to get a little green fingered and create something living. And now i have a little green spot in my room which makes me ridiculously happy.

So i thought i would share my little creation with you and show you how easy it is to make one for yourself.

Here is my glorious little terrarium:

 Its quite a small terrarium on the overall scale of things, although i have already purchased the bowl for my next littl world, but it suits my room and i love it.

Here are all the things you will need to make your own:

  •   Some mini plants – The little potted succulents shown below, I purchased from a local gardening shop for a pound a plant and the little loose plants are from my parents garden (if taking plants for outdoors just make sure to wash the roots well before planting to remove any bugs etc). However there is a wide array of plants to choose from both succulents and cacti so be adventurous!
  • A glass jar or container of your choosing – glass is best and a jar with some depth is easiest.
  • Pebbles/Stones – I choose ornamental glass stones in purple. These are very important as they are necessary for drainage as your container wont have any.
  • Soil – Normal potting soil is perfect.
  • Decoration – Optional – there are some great examples online where some very talented people have used tiny doll house furniture to make miniature gardens etc so get creative.

      

 
Assembly
After you have collected everything you will need it is just a matter of assembly.

1. Gently wash your container and stones with water and a little soap. Rinse well to remove all detergents and dry before planting.
2. Place a layer of stones along the base of the container for drainage.
3. Then add your layer of soil, maybe two inches worth to create a foundation for your foliage.
4. Now the fun bit! Arrange and plant your succulents, cacti etc.I found it easiest to remove my plants from their pots and set them in my glass jar to arrange them first before planting them, so i was happy with the overall appearance.
5. My chosen stones included some large purple bubble like stones which i used as decoration. However you can be as as adventurous as you like, these little gardens are lovely just as they are.
6. And your Done!!! Spray your terrarium once a week, dont over water them as it will drown the root system. so just keep the soil moist.

A little extra gardening just to brighten up the page: I got a little distracted while shopping for my terrarium supplies and ended up buying two trays of violas which have now been distributed artfully around my parents garden.

If you decide to give these little terrariums a go or if you own one already i would love to see them! It truly is lovely bringing a little bit of nature inside.

Maebhe x

Books · Publishing · Reviews · Uncategorized

Dark Hunter Re-Read : Dance with the Devil

I am subscribed to Sherrilyn Kenyon’s newsletter and have been for a long time, however ive been a fan of her series for an even longer period of time! As her Dark Hunter series was one of the first urban fantasy series i discovered and represents of my biggest series collections i own.

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  This isn’t all of the books, its just the biggest collective image i could get & they are mostly in order 🙂 

 However as with many long series, when you discover a series in the middle it’s fun and exciting to binge! Buying books back to back and watching the series progress as your own pace -which in case was quite fast, especially in high school when i had more time and money to spend on just reading! But the series progressed and naturally got more complex, spliting apart into a number of sub plots and eventually creating a Y.A. back story which developed into an independent series for one of the main characters throughout the books, Nick Gautier. (Love him as a character and the YA series is really good.) This meant longer breaks between publications and therefore mentally a slower plot progression. I never lost any love for the series yet somehow i lost contact with the series and i am now a number of books behind.

SO! When i saw the email from Ms. Kenyon’s site discussing the Dark-Hunter Re-read it was the perfect excuse to rediscover some old loves and hopefully get back into the over plot structure. With the end goal of catching up with the publications i haven’t read, seeing what ive been missing out on and hopefully introduce some new readers to this amazingly funny and action packed, romantic urban fantasy series!

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 One of my favourite quote in life which i discovered from this series and my favourite book!

So the re-read is already a couple of books into the series. However this is exciting for me as the next book being read is Dance with the Devil (Book 3). This book is one of my absolute favourites! Zarek, our male protagonist, is one of those perfect damaged heroes who is really a marshmallow inside in need of a little love. This book also introduced me to another classic children’s novel i hadn’t heard of called The Little Prince which i just had to buy and my first time re-reading this book after reading The little Prince added even more layers to our damaged hero and made his romance with Astrid, our leading lady, all the better.

The humour in this book has already brought back so many memories of why i loved this series and this writer. Her dry wit has me in stitches but it also provides an insight into the characters that other writers can’t often capture. I am about two thirds of the way through and another rediscover was the historical undertones in this series –  as the fantasy element in this series is inspired from Greek Mythology – which as a history graduate with a love for ancient history just pushes all the right buttons for me!

If Sherrilyn Kenyon is a new author to you, i would highly recommend getting involved in the re-read or even just picking up one of her books they are truly amazing. She also writes an awesome Sci-Fi series. But i will be back on this book soon with a short review – don’t want to spoil anything.

But if you do give these books a chance or you already love the Dark Hunter series let me know your thoughts below!

Maebhe x

 p.s. a sneak peek of the madness which occurred in one of my bookcases trying to clear some space to find this series – book addicts raise your hands?… 🙂

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