Friday, 28 November 2014

Book Review | The Midwife's Confession by Diane Chamberlain

I don't want to give too much away about this book, but I couldn't not feature it on my blog because of how amazing it was. It really was one of those books that you couldn't work out what was going to happen, I actually found myself gasping and crying at how shocking the story line was - a brilliant read!

It tells the story of three best friends (Tara, Emerson and Noelle) , and what happens when one of them commits suicide. There are lots of secrets revealed along the way, and its a truly heartbreaking but heartwarming story at the same time. I couldn't put it down...

Blurb

"I don't know how to tell you what I did.

Would you read a letter never meant to be opened? Woudl you want to know secrets never meant to be told? Or should a woman's mistakes stay buried?

An unfinished letter was hidden amongst Tara and Emerson's best friend's things after her suicide. Noelle was the woman they entrusted to deliver their precious babies into the world, a beloved friend. Her suicide shocked them both. But her legacy could destroy them.

For her letter reveals a terrible secret that challenges everything they thought they knew. Taking them on a journey that will irrevocably change their own lives - and the life of a desperate stranger - forever."

This book really was brilliant, I don't think I was even expecting it to be as good as it was, even though I'd been desperate to read it for ages! Thinking about the plot twists now makes me want to reread it all over again.

This was the first Diane Chamberlain book I have ever read, but I'll definitely be heading to the bookshop to look for more.

Have you ever read The Midwife's Confession? What did you think? Can you recommened any other books for me?

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

"What do you want to do when you finish your degree?" - If you are a third year, I'm sure you will have heard this question as many times as I have. We'd be millionaires if we had a pound for every time we were asked it! Honestly though, my answer to this question is always "I have no idea". I have 14 weeks of lectures, 25'000 words and 2 exams to get through until the end of my degree, I still have no idea what I want to do and that's absolutely fine with me!


 I think there is too much pressure on graduates to be answering this question when they have so much going on already. People are forever asking five year old children what they want to be, and how is it that they have more of an idea than me? Probably because they haven't had to make huge life choices yet, unlike myself, and when you are five, its all a bit of fun! I wanted to be an Air Hostess. Interesting considering how much I hate flying now! When it comes down to it though, when I finish my degree I want to be in a job that I love, and don't hate waking up to in the mornings. I know this is a big ask, but hopefully I'll be able to find something! I think graduates should take it as it comes, obviously accepting that hard work is in order, but personally I'll be satisfied to just find a job that makes me happy!

 Long-term? I'd love to work with a charity. Issue? Although not everything is about money, I would like to be at that point where I am financially stable so I can volunteer for a charity instead of being paid. Obviously then, I'll need to be earning some money before I get to that stage!


 Times are tough for graduates, I don't doubt that at all. I know I'm going to have to work hard to be where I want to be but I just don't see the point in stressing about it now. Third years have enough to be tackling without being asked this question monthly, let alone weekly!

What do you think? Do you think there is pressure to know what you want to do "when you grow up"?

Monday, 24 November 2014

What's In My Bag? #1

I've never done a What's In My Bag post before, but I've always fancied doing one. I'm so nosey so I love seeing what other people carry around with them, whether its on a day to day basis or what they packed for a weekend getaway! I'm just going to be doing my general handbag one today though.


My bag was my bargain beauty from Florida. I found it in the Guess Outlet for around £15! What a bargain. I love the colour, and the style of it - its huge which means plenty of space for me to lug around everything I want to! Its also really sturdy so I know its going to last me a long time.


Essentials in my bag are obviously my keys, my phone and my beautiful purse from Vera Bradley. Dan brought me this for my birthday, after me saying how much I loved it in Florida, he's so sneaky! Its the perfect size, as it fits in pretty much any bag, and I absolutely adore the pattern.


I also have my lip balm, my hand cream, paracetamol and perfume/spray to keep me smelling fresh throughout the day! I've spoke about this Ted Baker hand cream before here, and I absolutely love it. Its the perfect size to carry around, works really well and smells incredible. I don't want it to end! I always have my Tangle Teezer in my bag too, I can't live without it.


Other bits and bobs I carry around in my bag are my beautiful white and sparkly gloves, my snood, my umbrella (winter you suck!), headphones, ipod and my glasses with their gorgeous case. Its always a disaster if I forget most of these things because I will either be cold, bored or blind so these are probably even more essential than my purse, phone and keys...did I really just say that?!


Obviously when its a uni day my bag is full of books and stuff but they aren't permanent features in my gorgeous bag!

Tell me if you have done a What's In My Bag post, I love seeing them!

Friday, 21 November 2014

Reveal by Calvin Klein

I first smelt the 'Reveal' by Calvin Klein perfume when I found a sample of it in Cosmopolitan Magazine. I was hooked. I was smelling that little piece of perfume soaked fabric until it smelt no more. I had serious plans to march down to boots on my birthday to buy myself this perfume.

However, on my birthday, I opened a present from my parents and it was this exact perfume! It was such a coincidence but what a lovely surprise. I know that this perfume is definitely going to become a fast favourite of mine. I just love it!

The packaging is sleek, and quite sophisticated. I like the pale blush pink that is used and I think it makes it girly but grown up too. The bottle is so cool, it's like a triangle but with the lid on it becomes a square. I think it's such a great bottle design, and it definitely makes it stand out from the crowd.

I hate it when you have to wait for perfumes to settle and dry before they smell nice. With Reveal, this is certainly not the case. It smells delicious from the first spritz!

The scent itself is gorgeous. It's hard to describe the smell, but I would say that it smells kind of spicy if that makes sense. It's definitely a warmer floral scent than a lighter one but it is still really fresh. It's so lovely, I want to smell it all the time!

Have you tried Reveal by Calvin Klein? Do you like the packaging?

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

The Sisterhood of the Travelling Bloggers Book

This brilliant creation is another of Gemma's from Lipstick and Lashes. She has started a travelling bloggers book which is being sent round the country! I was the third person to get it so I saw the lovely pages Gemma did herself, and also the pages that Jemma from Dorkface did which were beautiful too! I knew I had a task to make my pages look as pretty as theirs did. 




I really enjoyed creating my pages for The Sisterhood of the Travelling Bloggers Book. It took me a while to think of quote to include but I thought 'Be The Best Version of You' was one that really speaks to me. I think its so important to be the best version of yourself, and although you may not always be, its definitely something to work towards. 


I'm so excited to see where this book ends up, I think its such a good idea!! 

Have you taken part in anything like The Sisterhood of the Travelling Bloggers book or the Blogger Snail Mail?

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

New Blog Design

As you can all see I've had my blog design updated! I was finding it hard to be motivated for my blog, especially with so much university work but here is the new updated version, with thanks to Tea Party Beauty. I love the new design, but I'm pleased that Hayley adapted my first header because I still really liked it, I just wanted a freshen up!

Old





New




What do you all think of my new design? Do you like it?

Monday, 17 November 2014

University | Choosing a House after Halls

The time has come for you to hunt around searching for a house to live in after a comfy year living in stress-free halls. I thought it might be handy for you to have a guide of things to check when searching for a house, as I have forgotten to look at a few important things when moving into a new house and so I thought I'd share what I've learnt through my mistakes with you so you don't do the same!

One | Always check phone signal when you are looking around the house. In my second year house our signal wasn't the best which would prove difficult when people tried to come over and when we wanted to call our parents.

Two | Check if your bills are included or not. I have found it alot easier having bills included in the PCM (price per calender month), it takes the hassle out of having to sort out internet, TV Licenses, water bills and electricity bills when you have mountains of work to be doing.

Three | What is the bathroom like? In my second year house it was freezing, the floor always soaked, the shower was either boiling hot or absolutely frozen. In my third year house, we can't stand up in it and the flow of the shower is pretty bad. Definitely one to check.

Four | Have a look at the area around your house before deciding on it. If you are a light sleeper, have a look at the nightlife in the area - will pubs be keeping you up late at the weekends? How close are you to town and your university?

Five | Try and find out a little bit about the reputation of the lettings company you go with. The company who rented out my boyfriend's house last year were horrendous. When his flatmates arrived there was a dirty unflushed toilet (gross!!) and just generally lots of problems which they didn't deal with quickly enough. 

Six | Are there any plug sockets and aerial cables in the room if you want a TV? In both houses there have been little plug sockets so it means a huge amount of extension cables being used, its not really an issue just nice to know that you need them! I don't have a TV but my room doesn't have an aerial even if I did, so if you are an extreme telly lover then you should check that one out.


I think these are the main things that you should really be looking out for when you go to check out your houses! Moving out of halls into your own house is exciting, but you do want to check for some of these issues before taking the move. I know I wish we'd looked into things a bit better so I thought I'd share my mistakes with you so you don't make the same ones!

Do you have any advice for freshers moving in to houses after halls? or are you a fresher yourself who wants to know more about finding a house? Feel free to leave a comment below or email me: suitcaseandsandals@outlook.com!

Friday, 14 November 2014

Tangle Teezer

I thought I would do a post today about the best product I think I have ever brought, my Tangle Teezer. 

You probably all have one already, but if you don't I'm telling you to head out there right now! They are quite pricey on a student budget but they are definitely worth it. I've had mine for a year now and its showing no signs of giving up on me yet so its a good investment for sure. 

I chose the pink one, obviously, but if that isn't for you they have plenty of other styles you can pick from yourself here. There are different shapes and sizes too which means there are ones for every occasion! 

The reason why they are so great is because no matter how tangled, knotted and messed up your hair is, it will brush straight through with minimal pain - my kind of hairbrush! My hair after a shower is absolutely horrific but once I've used my tangle teezer my hair is back to  how I like it. Its effortless and when I can't find my tangle teezer I know its going to be a bad day - it solves any tangle problems! 

The only issue is that you can't use your tangle teezer with heat, for example when you are drying your hair or straightening it. The tangle teezers are made from plastic so the little sticks can bend with heat which isn't ideal - the only downside I promise.

I love my tangle teezer, and I will definitely be buying a new one once this one can survive no more. If you have kids, I would run out and get one now!!! Life would have been so much easier for my mum with this product. 

Have you got a tangle teezer? Would you ever consider getting one in the future?

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Review | Pearl Divine Necklace*

 I was lucky enough recently to be sent a gorgeous necklace from Pearl Divine, an etsy shop. I was so excited to review one of the pieces from Pearl Divine, they are all gorgeous. The jewellery that they sell is absolutely stunning, and I really would recommend you heading over to their etsy shop now to check out some of the things that they sell. 

I was asked to choose three of my favourite necklaces, and one would be sent to me. I was so excited to receive my parcel from Pearl Divine, and when it arrived I was very happy with the necklace I had been sent. 


I received the Triple Titanium Crystal Agate Druzy Quartz Necklace. 



It arrived in the most gorgeous packaging which was one of the things I really liked about this company. It showed that they really made an extra effort for their customers. As you can see in the picture above, the label is really pretty and the logo is lovely too. 


Unfortunately I found that the rings that attached the stones to the chain weren't closed enough. It was really easy for me to just bend on of the sides back to cover the gap. It wasn't a major issue though, and it was incredible easy to just close the circle as I have shown in the picture below. I think because it is handmade, it is delicate which may be why the circle slipped out, but since closing it I haven't had any issues. I love the fact that is it handmade because it feels more unique.



It is so pretty and adds a lovely touch to my outfits. The colours of the necklace are subtle, but they have enough shimmer in them for me to wear this necklace either during the day or at night. I like the fact that there are three stones too, as it means that the necklace is simple, but it isn't boring and it certainly isn't too overpowering like some of the other necklaces in fashion at the moment. 

I wore this necklace with my stripey top from Topshop which is my go-to tee with jeans and the colours of the necklace goes perfectly with it. This necklace is so versatile. I can wear it with my stripey tee, jeans and converse or I could dress it up for a party, or cocktails with the girls. I would choose to wear this with a Little White Dress and my new blue ballet pumps from Asda for dinner on holiday. I could also wear it with this playsuit from Topshop to a christmas party, as it adds even some glitz and jazz to my outfit, perfect for the winter season. 

I know I'm going to be buying from Pearl Divine in the future. I love the jewellery that they are selling, and the fact that although other people will have them, my necklace is going to be more unique than if I had brought it from River Island for example.

I would recommend following their twitter here so you can keep up to date with pieces that are being sold and what's going on. 

What do you think of my lovely necklace? Will you be heading across to Pearl Divine?

*PR sample, reviews are my own opinion and completely honest.

Monday, 10 November 2014

The Autumn Tag

I have been tagged to the Autumn Tag by the lovely Lauren from Blonde Vision. I love the autumn, its definitely my favourite season and really enjoyed doing this tag!



Coffee – What’s your favourite seasonal drink from Starbucks or any other coffee shop?

I have to say hot chocolate from Starbucks – I make it seasonal by adding all the shaker flavours! Definitely not a healthy treat.

Accessories – What do you opt for, scarf, boots or gloves?

Definitely gloves if I was forced to choose. I hate having cold hands! However I usually use all three when it gets super chilly!

Music – What’s your favourite music to listen to during Autumn?

Christmas songs in preparation for Christmas definitely!

Perfume – What’s your favourite scent for this time of year?

I just choose a perfume I like – so at the moment I’m wearing (and LOVING) Reveal by Calvin Klein.

Candles – What’s your favourite scent for this time of year?

I really like Vanilla scents around this time of year!

What do you love best about Autumn?

It’s been my birthday in Autumn so that’s always good fun. I love the colour of the leaves too and crunching on them!

Favourite make up look?

I don’t tend to wear make-up if I’m honest, but the other day I tried an eyebrow pencil for the first time and I definitely think I will be using one more once I get my hands on one.

What are you looking forward to most in the Autumn?

Harry Potter film marathons, Bonfire night has already been but its my favourite and Hot chocolate with marshmallows. Also, I find that Sausage and Mash tastes about 10 times better in Autumn so I’m excited for that!



I tag:


Jennifer from Ginevrella

Gemma from Lipstick and Lashes


Georgia from Mapped Out  

I hope you enjoy ladies! Looking forward to seeing some of your answers.


What do you love about Autumn?

Friday, 7 November 2014

Love List #1

Similar to my lust list, I've decided to start sharing things I have been loving recently that I actually have rather than having to constantly think about. I have no boundaries for what this might be, it could be clothes, food, films or something else! 



This yankee candle, in the Beach Flowers flavour smells gorgeous. I actually managed to get such a good deal on this as they were half price in Clinton cards. Its so nice to have a summery smell to take me back to the summer holidays, and the purple goes really well with my room!


Dan brought me this beautiful glasses case for my birthday last year, and I love it. I have been using this so much recently as it is not only pretty but so handy - it's nowhere near like those bulky glasses cases from the opticians! 


 Although this book starts off really sad, once you get into it you won't be able to put it down (unless your a third year student and you have no other choice). Its such a nice story, considering the upsetting start and I think I'll learn a lot from it by the time I actually finish the whole story.


 Since starting back in September, I have joined the uni gym. I have also been doing The Londoner's Work Out occasionally which has been good too. Hopefully I'll keep it up!



Spending time with Dan and my sister has been so lovely recently. Its nice to be able to unwind and spend some time with them, whether its ice skating or just chilling watching New Girl. 

What have you been loving recently? Is there a book or something you can recommend for me?

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Blogger Snail Mail

 Back in August, I saw this post on Gemma's blog, Lipsticks and Lashes. I was so excited to sign up and emailed her straight away. The Bloggers Snail Mail is organised by Gemma, with the first one being in March, and she pairs you up with another blogger from around the world. You then have about 4 weeks to get to know each other before sending the other person a gift you think they will like. 

 I was paired with Zoe from The Wayward Professional and I'm so pleased I was! Zoe is a blogger from New Zealand and as soon as I clicked on the link I knew I was going to really enjoy her blog. I have really enjoyed reading Zoe's business related posts, and I know I will be heading back to her blog alot once I graduate to take advice from post such as this one about the Interview! Her Bucket List series is another part of her blog that I love. I enjoyed reading about her graduation, and her world adventure plans! Those posts made me particularly jealous, but I still hope she has an amazing time...

 We spoke quite regularly (as much as the time difference would allow) for the month that we had and I got to know some really cool things about Zoe, like the fact that she is going travelling in just over three months - I am so jealous! We will hopefully be able to meet up when she is in the UK too. 

 Zoe's parcel arrived just in time. I had had such a horrible day at uni and I was just feeling low and then the parcel arrived and cheered me up so much! Zoe picked out some fantastic things for me, and they are all so well suited to me.











Thank you so much for your gorgeous parcel Zoe. Its been lovely getting to know you and I'm excited to see more on your blog and hear about your travels, hopefully even becoming part of them! 

Monday, 3 November 2014

Company Bloggers Style The High Street Event 2014

I saw this event being advertised in Company months back and I knew that I would have to attend. It sounded so good, and I'd never been to a blogging event before so wanted to get to know some new bloggers! Me and Mapped Out decided to buy our tickets and go. We were in for a treat, with 8 bloggers styling their own looks from 8 different brands all in one fashion show, an incredible beauty room and an even better goody bag. It was a brilliant evening!


We arrived at the event, which was on Thursday 30th October, and queued to get in. The venue, tobacco docks, was amazing. It was so unique, but incredibly pretty too. I definitely think company made a brilliant choice in choosing this venue - it was quite easy to get to, and had lots of different rooms which were perfect for the event. I loved it! 


We had about an hour to spend in the beauty room before the fashion show began. Paul Mitchell stylists were there so I had my hair curled, whilst Georgia chose a french plait! I felt like a princess having my hair done, and for free. There wasn't much time after that as everyone was heading to the fashion show but we knew we'd be back for more afterwards. Have a look at some of the best dressed here. My favourite outfits would be 10 and 11. They both look amazing. How cool is that tinsel jacket as well?




The fashion show itself was fantastic. Some of the looks that had been put together, I would have never thought they were from the shops they were - it was so cool! Lilah Parsons was presenting and Nina Nesbitt sang a couple of songs to start off with. Then the fashion began! Oasis was styled by Patricia Bright, Warehouse by Little Magpie, Next by Coco's Tea Party, M&S by EJSTYLE, Yumi by The Golden Diamonds, ASOS by Pages By Megan, River Island by She Wears Fashion and finally Primark by hannahlouisef. They were all incredible. My favourite was easily the Next styled by Coco's Tea Party. It had the amazing theme of Gossip Girl and all the models really got into the role which I thought was cool. These are a couple of my favourite looks from the whole fashion show not just Next.




After the fashion show it was back down to the beauty room. We had our faces glittered (I went for pink, with Georgia going for the blue) and I honestly wish I could wear it on my face everyday! It was so pretty. We also had our hands tattooed by Seekers of the Sun who do gorgeous silver and gold temporary tattoos. They are so pretty, I can't wait to get my hands on more!



Just before we left we picked up our goody bags, which were amazing. For £25 a ticket per person, you really did get your moneys worth. A fashion show, 2 free drinks, lots of beauty treatments to choose from and this goody bag! It was so good. Included were things such as Make Believe Instant Tan, Company Lashes Mascara, 20% off at Warehouse voucher, Hair Chalk by Models Own, a Wilkinson Hydro Silk Razor, Impulse Rock and Love, Sleek Makeup Gloss Me in Shade 24 Forbidden City and loads more. It was such an amazing goody bag. I felt so lucky!



Company Bloggers Style The High Street was brilliant. I would definitely recommend going if there is another event next year. I loved the fact that the fashion show was one with clothes from the high street, as this is rarer and more suited to my student budget. It opened my eyes to shops that I wouldn't usually shop in! 



Did you go to the Company Bloggers Style The High Street event?
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