Sunday, 31 January 2016

You Have Not A Leg To Stand On & Safe Haven

Hitting you up with two book reviews this week. Don't worry I'm keeping a log of how many books I'm reading as I do have that 50 books in a year resolution that I have to stick by!

You Have Not A Leg To Stand On by D.D. Mayers

This one was sent to me to review, giving my own honest opinion. A book that I would not normally be eager to read, this was a interesting life story of a man who grew up in a beautiful Kenyan paradise, found love, found adventure but was dealt the life altering hand that left him paralysed from the waist down. Describing his life, being witty and amusing there was something relatable about his life story. I think it was because during his earlier life, he became a professional actor and therefore lived through the struggle of having no money and that his career was never certain.

The experiences and places he's travelled have certainly been impressive ones. Travelling from Nairobi to London in a small Toyota Estate with his wife, chaperone and a small amount of money. They travelled through the Middle East, visiting places that were once peaceful but are now warzones or don't even exist now. My overall opinion of this book is that he doesn't let his disability define his life, now that he's probably well into his 70s. Instead he invites us to understand what life used to like during his childhood, his adulthood and his views on today's world now. A book I would recommend for any of those who enjoy reading about other people's lives. You can find his tumblr here. The book is available on Amazon here.

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

If you're a fan of soppy romantic novels or films then Nicholas Sparks is an author you'll definitely want to look for the next time you're in a bookstore or library. I now have three more of his novels including Dear John and The Longest Ride.

Quite a few of his novels have now been made into films and I'm very much looking forward to watching them when I get the chance. Safe Haven follows a young woman, held captive in her own home by her abusive husband. We learn that she attempted to run away twice before being caught by her husband, a detective in the local police department. After months of secretly saving and planning, she manages to escape and make a fresh start in a new town with a new name and life. It's a typical romantic story of her finding love again but with a guy who lost his wife and has been left to struggle with two kids. Nicholas Sparks has this great ability to grip you from the first chapter until the very end. I'd be very interested to see the movie, however the impression I get from the trailer is that they have typically glamourised and made it a 'Hollywood' movie. However, this ain't gonna stop me from watching it and getting all emotional!

Two books that I would certainly recommend for different readers and genres. You can buy Safe Haven on dvd here, or the book here. Otherwise, head to your local library as there's a high possibility, it will be there too!

Natalie-Ann x

Check out my YouTube Channel! Click here.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Funny Fridays!

Time for the last segment of Funny Fridays for this month.

1. When you nearly trip over but regain your balance.

2. Waving to someone and then realising they aren't waving at you.

3.  Standing on a plug.

4. For contact lense wearers, trying to find a lost contact lense.

5. When you put your hand back into an empty packet of food and realise there's nothing left.

6. When your favourite character dies in that story you read or watched.

7. When you win an argument.

8. Trying not to wake someone up.

9. Spilling a drink over someone you've only just met...

10. When you catch a whiff of a fart.

Natalie-Ann x

Check out my YouTube Channel! Click here.


Halford's Cycling Essentials!

I've been asked by Halfords to promote their range of cycling essentials. Now you may be wondering, but Natalie I've never heard you mention you've been cycling recently?! You'd be right, no I haven't cycled in forever, however that might certainly change soon. I got a bike from my housemate Sean, who unfortunately had one of his wheels (and more recently we noted) the seat stolen. Kick the bike whilst it's down why don't you?! Anyway, I sort of made it part of my New Year's Resolution to get it fixed, get a new wheel, seat and accessories so that I can do more cycling whether it be leisurely or when I want to go to the gym!

So with Halford's help I've accumulated some of the must haves from their cycling range. You will also eventually see me wearing/owning some of these in the near future. Introducing Halford's 'Cycling Essential's Guide'. Whether you're using your bike for work, leisure or exercise, having the right equipment and gear is essential both for your safety and for making sure your getting the most out of your investment. I say investment because bikes now cost a small fortune (or maybe they've always cost a fortune and I just haven't noticed before). Halford's have helped all those, including me, who come to the website or store looking for cycling equipment and are baffled by the variety of bike pumps on offer. They've put together an Essentials Guide which can be found here.

Now this is perfect for advice on what to get, when you're on the go or the type of weather conditions you're facing. The only issue I have is the security aspect. It would have been helpful to perhaps include a little information on how to keep a bike out in the open, safe. As myself and Sean have come to realise since living on our estate.

I think having a full outfit choice for both Summer and Winter appeals to all of us who are fashion conscious and hey, who doesn't want to look good cycling. Show off to all those people driving in their cars that you're fit, healthy and you look good even when you're red in the face from sweating. At least this outerwear will keep you warm/cool depending on the season!

The commuter kit is something that's crucial and definitely beneficial for those living in big cities where bike awareness needs to be at it's most importance. Having the right gear on, alerting pedestrians and vehicle owners that you are in fact a human, is important for yours and others safety.

We then have those extra special goodies for those who want to splash out a little. These include a GPS which tracks your speed etc and Helmet cameras to show off your mad cycling skills!

Finally, there's some handy tools for repairing your bike, along with healthy food to repair your body!

If that's not enough, check out there sale items now on offer, providing you with comfort cycling shoes! You can find it all by clicking here.

I hope this inspires you for those whose bikes are collecting dust and rust in the garage or shed, to get out and do some much needed cycling. It's the easiest way to get fit without even realising!

Natalie-Ann x

Check out my YouTube Channel! Click here.


Thursday, 28 January 2016

Top Secret Beauty

Top Secret Beauty is a brand that offers a great variety of premium beauty products at affordable prices. I should know because I'm good friends with the founder of this company, Samira Mohamed Ali. Click on her name and give her some love by liking her page! She sent me over two of her incredible products to try out and to give you guys, my readers, an honest opinion of what I think. 

Now I've never been one to wear eyelashes that often. I had them on when it was my 18th...

I look absolutely terrified..

Looking back, I'd like to think I've learnt from my teenage experiences, in that I should never pick false eyelashes that are just too big for me. Top Secret Beauty's lashes however are much more natural and better than what you're going to find in your typical high street store. 

They are made out of 100% real hair so they naturally separate and look real as supposed to being clumped up and false. To be honest though, I'm not going to go on about how much of a pro I am at fake lashes because I'm not a pro and seeing me putting on fake lashes is like a toddler discovering make-up for the first time.                                     
It may have been me (and probably was me, due to everyone else's attempts at wearing these, were fine) but when I was applying them, the glue didn't seem to hold the lashes in place. This was probably the only downside personally, as it may have helped a newbie like me, having a small amount of extra glue to work with. However, any experienced false eyelash wearer would probably have an abundance of extra eyelash glue at their disposal so I will know for next time.

I cannot get over though, how well these suited my eyes. They are subtle enough for day time wear but glamourous enough for the evening too. As someone with long eyelashes though, I would love to see Top Secret Beauty bring out a line of individual lashes too. I think this would be a great hit with those who would love to wear falsies but don't want the full strips. Prices range from £18-24 and the selection of eyelash designs can be found here.

To my surprise, Samira had also chucked in a sponge for good measure. She must have read my mind because I've wanted one of these for so long! They are Hydrophilic Polyurethane Non Latex and they are soon to come in a mixture of colours for those fussy enough about their sponge colour. Sponges are great for applying foundation and concealer and are a great way of helping you contour. The sponges are £12 each and are equal competition to those already in Boots and Superdrug.

Make sure you check out her official product website here and also take a look at Samira's own personal website here.

Thanks for reading and thank you Samira for sending me these goodies!

Natalie-Ann x

Check out my YouTube Channel! Click here.


Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Lights Festival In London

Lumiere Light Festival, you may have heard of it happening recently in London.. If not, let me tell you, I learnt more the layout of London within a few hours than I have in nearly two years of living here.

Lumiere Light Festival is the biggest light's festival to hit the capital. Produced by Artichoke, a company 'working with independent artists to invade our public places' and put on extraordinary, ambitious events that create memories that will last forever. Supported by the Mayor of London, for four evenings in January, London became illuminated, using the very iconic buildings we are so used to seeing in all their plain jane-ness.

The areas of London were picked upon their popularity; King's Cross, Mayfair, Piccadilly, Regent Street and St James, Trafalgar Square and Westminster. Myself and Hannah managed to cover most of the Central area, but unfortunately due to the time and how freaking cold it was, we didn't manage to make it to King's Cross.

However, we did see some beautiful illuminations. Some of them had meaning, some didn't. One of our favourites had to be the one that actually took place outside of the BAFTAs building, which myself and Hannah didn't even realise was actually there. A big projection, filled with famous faces, onto it's building was decorated with so much colour and light. With a lot of the illuminations, they transformed London into a giant playground.

The spectacle in Covent Garden for example was almost like stepping into a scene from Alice in Wonderland. Giant stems of flowers hung over us, neon tubes hung from the trees, the sight of it all was quite overwhelming.

It was such a shame that this happened to be the last night, else we would have returned the following evening to finish it all. However, I'm glad we got to experience at least some of what Artichoke and it's collaborations had to offer.

Make sure you check out some of the artists below!

Platonic Spin by Nathaniel Rackowe
Garden of Light by TILT
Luminéoles by Porté par le vent 
Eléphantastic by Catherine Garret
Shaida Walking by Julian Opie
Keyframes by Groupe LAPS
1.8 London by Janet Echelman/Studio Echelman
195 Piccadilly by NOVAK
I Haven't Changed My Mind In A Thousand Years by Beth J Ross
Les Voyageurs by Cédric Le Borgne (The Travellers)
Plastic Islands by Luzinterruptus
Centre Point Lights from the Centre Point Building
Neon Dogs by Deep Mann-Kler
The Light of The Spirit by Patrice Warrener
Sanctuary by Sarah Blood
Dissect l and Dissect ll by Sarah Blood
Spinning Night In Living Colour by Elaine Buckholtz
Brothers and Sisters by Ron Haselden
Lightbenches by Bernd Spiecker for LBO (LichtBankObjekte)
Aquarium by Benedetto Bufalino & Benoit Deseille
IFO (Identified Flying Object) Jacques Rival
Joining the Dots by Cleary Connolly
Pipette by Miriam Sleeman, Tom Sloan, Allies and Morrison, Spiers + Major
Dresses by Tae Gon Kim
Light Grafitti by Floating Pictures
binaryWaves by LAB[au]
Circus of Light by Ocubo
Litre of Light by Mick Stephenson, Central Saint Martins, UAL and MyShelter Foundation
Spectra-3 by
Diver by Ron Haselden
MORE SPACE by Tim Etchells


Monday, 25 January 2016

10 Inspirational Quotes To Live By!

In times of trouble in your life, I find quotes can really help you get out of that situation. I thought that I would compile together a top 10 list of inspirational quotes that I live by.

Natalie-Ann x

Check out my YouTube Channel! Click here.



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