August Favourites

August Favourites

Another month, another lineup of bits 'n bobs I have loved during August. There's a trio of lip products, a bronzer in Winter, a book and even a movie+more.

I even filmed my favourites for a change, I know, a non-book video. Unexpected, although there is a new book video up as well. Enjoy, and let me know what you've been liking in August.

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Ctrl Alt; Delete by Emma Gannon | The Review

Ctrl Alt; Delete by Emma Gannon | The Review

Book #2 for Sophie's Book Club was a collection of essays by the wonderful lady I have a bit of a blogger girl crush on. Yes there are a few people who fit this bill but today I am referring to the one and only Emma Gannon, author of the blog Girl Lost In The City. As well as running a rather radtastic, inspiring blog, she also has a podcast under the same name as her book and contributes writing to many other places on and offline such as; Teen Vogue, The Sunday Times magazine, The Guardian and many others. She is a boss basically. When I heard she was releasing a book I swiftly pre-ordered it and was so pleased that people voted for it in my book club's polls. So what did I think? Well in one sentence: I loved it. End of review. I jest, keep reading if you want the full details.

Ctrl Alt; Delete is a series of essays about Emma's experiences and learnings growing up online. She was born in the year the Internet came to fruition so she literally grew up alongside the Internet. Every social media platform you can think of; LiveJournal, MySpace, Bebo, you name it, she was on there. As well as her early learnings on discovering the expanse that is the Web, she also details her experiences of relationships and how they are shaped/misconstrued by the Internet, how it has helped her forge a career path, the power of deceptive photography and more. It might only be 258 pages but there is a lot of ground covered here.

A lot of the material in this book stood out to me, especially Emma's writing on blogging. "The reason my blog makes me so happy, when it comes down to it, is the freedom it brings me...I can always mentally escape on my blog even if I can't physically. Diving into my blog often feels like the bit in Mary Poppins where Bert and the kids all jump into the street painting, holding umbrellas in the rain...eating toffee apples and loving life." This idea really resonated with me, the creative control my blog gives me, this corner of the Internet that is all mine, makes me so happy. I don't think non-Internet people will really grasp that idea but it honestly does. The escapism it provides as well is also so satisfying. The recognition as well, which she talks about, no matter how big or small is also amazing. I still get such a buzz when somebody tells me they've read something I wrote and like it, or just that they love my blog. That's probably my inner peacock coming out but us creative folk love praise. 

Emma's writing on the MSN years was also uber relatable too. I cringed as much as I laughed and sympathised with her tales. While MSN certainly had some downsides, I experienced some rather nasty bullying on it through a couple of group chats, I also made some of my closest friends through hour-long MSN conversations. Social media is such a double-edged sword like that isn't it? 

Ctrl Alt; Delete is a book every millennial and Internet loving person needs to read. Even if you're not a big Internet person you still need to read it. Scratch that, everybody needs to read this book. It's so relatable, laugh-out-loud funny and also incredibly inspiring and thought provoking. Emma is such a gifted writer and this book was such a strong debut. I can't wait to see what she does next. I gave this 4/5 stars over on Goodreads for anyone wondering, but I may have to go back and amend my review to make it 5 stars. I loved this book that much.

If you're wondering what the next few months of Sophie's book club are looking like, for September we will be reading The Lonely City by Olivia Laing. This book has been getting some promising reviews, and if this is anything to go by we are in for a treat. October sees two books up for the reading. By no means do you have to read both of them. I just wanted to introduce a book to sit alongside the collections of essays by Mara Wilson, entitled Where am I Now? . The second book for October is Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. It's another book I have only heard positive things about and I am looking forward to reading Kaur's poetry.

-Have you read Ctrl Alt; Delete? What did you think of it?

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The Paper Gang | July Box

The Paper Gang | July Box

To know me is to know I love fine paper goods. I love them about as much as Donna loves fine leather goods. Side note: treat yo'self is a way of life. Anyway, I'd seen the Paper Gang stationery boxes appearing over on Rebecca and Olivia's blogs and had been intrigued. With my birthday coming up in August I decided to treat myself to the July and August boxes from their site. Unfortunately being in New Zealand means I got my box of goodies long after most other people had received theirs but I thought I'd still share them anyway for anyone who has considered subscribing. Read on if you want the 'deets...

Papergang is a monthly stationery subscription service done by the folk who bring us Ohh Deer stationery. You may have spotted Ohh Deer's wares over on ASOS but here in NZ they can also be found at Matchbox Studios and Iko Iko. Each box is designed with an artist and/or theme in mind. I can't remember the theme of Box #5 but there was a bit of everything inside as you can see. August's box has a marble theme so I'm looking forward to that. 

In July's box I received three notebooks, designed by William Branton. These are all unlined so they're great for both writing and drawing, whatever takes your fancy. Being A6 sized means they're super easy to cart around in your handbag and won't take up a ton of space. My favourite of the set is the one with the copper detailing and navy background, two of my favourite things. Also by William Branton we have the clipboard and the printed calendar page to go alongside it. As this came partway through August I haven't utilised the calendar as such but nonetheless it is still beautifully designed. The clipboard has actually come in handy as it's compact and I've used it to stick press releases+information that comes with products/books I am sent for review. 

There was also a puntastic pencil inside this box, designed by Jade Walsh. It says "on point". I know, I know, so punny. I love it. Last but not least there were three blank greeting cards, all pictured above. I think they're all by separate designers-I've already used two of them so I can't check that (whoops). I love the tiger in the headdress but again they're all nicely designed and visually appealing.

Overall I was really impressed by the July box. With the exception of the calendar page, everything inside is something I would use and have been using. I'm looking forward to seeing what marbled delights are inside the August box.

-Have you heard of Paper Gang's subscription service? If not, do you subscribe to any other subscription services?
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New in Beauty: The Treat Yourself Edition

New in Beauty: The Treat Yourself Edition

This post first appeared over on FashioNZ and has been republished with permission.

The beauty launches tend to quieten down over Winter but we’ve still found some new products to tide us over until the Spring and holiday collections come at us.  From the luxe beauty brand that’s made its way to New Zealand, to the eyeliner you need in your life….

Tom Ford Beauty, available from David Jones in Wellington & coming soon to Smith & Caugheys: Tom Ford has finally arrived on our shores with its first counter opening in Wellington at the end of last month. Their signature fragrances are here as well as their highly-sought after lipsticks. There’s something in this line-up for every beauty enthusiast.  We can’t wait for their flagship counter to open at Smith and Caugheys later in the year. *Side note: I received this lipstick as a gift for my birthday. Review to come-I haven't actually used it yet because that iconic TF is too beautiful not to photograph before I smear it all over my lips. 

YSL  Touche Eclat Blur Primer*: YSL’s iconic touché éclat pen has inspired a new primer. Don’t let the gold sparkles throughout scare you. They don’t translate to anything glittery or vampire-esque on the complexion. Instead, this primer smooths and perfects the skin, making it ideal for any base you apply over the top. It also helps to keep your complexion shine-free for longer, making it perfect for combination-oily skin types.

Clinique Pop Matte Lip Color & Primer*: Clinique have jumped on board the matte lipstick train with their latest additions to the Pop Lip collection. There’s a range of hues to choose from here; from your statement reds and pinks, to the more everyday friendly nude. The finish on these is velvety smooth and you can expect a lip colour that is long wearing without flaking away. We love the shade Cute Pop, a brown-based nude with a dusky rose tone to it.

Estee Lauder Blushing Crème for Lips and Cheeks*, exclusive to Farmers: We love multi-use beauty products like this one. They’re so convenient if you’re on the go and don’t want to carry an excessive amount of makeup with you. These blush sticks have a little bit of a sheen to them so they give your cheeks that dewy, healthy glow. On the lips they’re a bit sheerer so you can swipe them on without too much fuss.

Lancome Grandiose Liner*: If liquid eyeliner makes you want to run away, reconsider running until you’ve tried this product. Lancome’s new eyeliner is angled so you can get super close to the lashline and in to the pesky inner-corners without drawing a thick, dramatic line halfway up your eyelid. It’s incredibly easy to use and will make you want to do feline flicks all the time.

*PR Sample. As always, all enthusiastic banter about beauty products shiny, matte and foolproof remain my own.

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5 Books To Read If You're Sad

5 Books To Read If You're Sad

Sadness sucks but we all experience it to some degree from time to time. Whether it's because someone's nasty comment has lingered in your mind a bit too long, or because something just genuinely lame has taken place. When I'm sad I like to find books, films or music that I can take comfort and seek some solace in. It doesn't necessarily have to be thought provoking to the highest degree. In fact, if it doesn't involve too much thinking and I'm in a bad mood then it's usually a winner. Anyway, today I thought I'd share five books I reach for when I'm feeling a bit down in the dumps. They're entertaining or bound to make me smile. If you're having a bad day, I'm sorry, bad days suck. Perhaps one of these reads will brighten your mood...

Yes Please by Amy Poehler-You'll notice a bit of a trend here. Memoirs by comedy-folk are some of my favourite to read. In fact, this whole list could have been easily comprised entirely of them. Amy Poehler's is by far my favourite though. As you'd expect, this is a hilarious, entertaining read. As well as anecdotes about Tina (Fey), SNL and of course, Parks and Rec, she shares some words of wisdom. Her "good for you, not for me" philosophy in particular is one of my favourite takeaways from this book.

Everything Is Going To Be Ok-I actually have Zoella to thank for the discovery of this book and whilst it's not one I frequently revisit, it's the sort of book that would be ideal to give to somebody else. The book that's good to let someone know you're thinking of them, in other words. It's filled with words of wisdom to remind you that just because this one day out of the year sucks, they don't all have to be that way.

Seriously...I'm Kidding by Ellen Degeneres-You can't go wrong with Ellen Degeneres, whether it's her well-stocked YouTube channel, her TV show or one of her books, like this one. Seriously, I'm Kidding came out a little while ago now but it's still just as laugh-out-loud funny as it was when I first read it. If you want something quick to flick through that will make you laugh, get this. It's worth it. I'm sure there's an audiobook version of it as well if that is more your thing.

Choupette by Patrick Mauries-There's something happiness-inducing about cats. That is the ultimate throwaway cat woman statement if ever there was one. Choupette has to be the most pampered cat on the planet but she's also one of the cutest. This book contains pictures of Karl Lagerfeld's feline muse as well as facts about her and even some details about famous cats from throughout history. If you like cats, more so stylish ones then you'll like this.

Advanced Style by Ari Seth Cohen, not pictured-Watch this first if you haven't seen the documentary. Again like the Choupette book, this is just one that will make you smile. The women photographed have such a zest for life and a real enthusiasm for every element of fashion and style. If the pictures of these ladies don't make you smile, I don't know what will.

-What books do you recommend for turning around a bad day?
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