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Fia x

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‘The Unpredictable Consequences of Love’ by Jill Mansell

18240500I love Jill Mansell, she is definitely my favourite easy-read author. I’ve never been disappointed by any of her books and I’ve actually read them all, yes I know I’m keen. ‘The Unpredictable consequences of Love’ followed suit and did not disappoint. Mansell does have some what of a standard pattern, male and female lead characters, small village, a number of secondary characters at least one of whom is from and elder generation. But it works so why not? She is fantastic at really creating a sense of community, weaving everyone’s story in and building an incredibly vivid little village. It’s heart warming and funny as well as covering some more difficult issue such as depression and terminal illness. Although this doesn’t dampen the book in the slightest.

Josh, lead male, has been leaving in the states managing a successful band. But now he’s back in St Cary’s to help his Grandmother run her hotel. He meets Sophie, lead female, when she’s working as a photographer in the hotel. Josh wants Sophie to go for dinner with him but she flatly refuses, disappointed and unused to rejection Josh vows to find out whats the matter with Sophie. She has her reasons for not wanting to date Josh, or anyone else for that matter, but they deep in her past and she’d quite like them to stay there. Sophie’s best friend Tula is down for the weekend, she’s great fun and full of life and definitely keen to meet some men. Riley, Josh’s friend, quite likes the look of her but his beach bum life make her a no go for Tula. In fact she’s got her eye keenly on Josh.

Josh’s Grandmother, the very swish Dot, and Grandfather Laurence have split up. A blast from their past comes into town and sweeps Dot of her feet making Laurence realise more than ever how much he still loves her. Laurence is slightly distracted by Riley’s Grandmother Marguerite an author with a secret of her own.

Read time : 5 hours (374 pages)

Cost: £7.99

Recommend: Definitely a girly book, but apart from that any age range at all. That’s one of Mansell’s greatest talents. It’s a great holiday read for this summer.

Favourite character: Riley, I find him very endearing and then when you discover his secret I find him to be kind, caring and determined as well, it helps that he also sounds very dishy . 

Favourite scene: Sophie’s naked photo shoot on the beach

Favourite thing about the book: The contrast between Sophie and Tula’s character is great, they are both strong independent women but in totally different ways. Their friendship is also totally believable and realistic

Least favourite thing: The end was just a little too ‘fairy tale’ for me with everyone being perfectly paired of. I also haven’t been left wondering what the characters are doing now, maybe just a little too well finished.

Have you read either of Jill Mansell’s novels? What do you think?

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OGX Nourishing Coconut Milk Range

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Firstly and the thing that made me go out and buy the shampoo and conditioner again when I ran out, something which I never ever do with hair care, the smell. Its like bounty in a bottle, super sweet and summery. Ok yes its a little plastic-y but it reminds me of holidays every time I get in the shower, which makes me smile. Whats better than that? A shampoo that washes your hair, makes your bathroom smell like the bounty factory and you’ll smile every time you use. It’s a win win really.

But no one wants to smell like a tropical princess and have fizz bomb hair, luckily this stuff actually works too. I have bleach-blonde-beach-bum hair, which I have grown to love but all the dye over the last X-number of years does mean that it’s not in the best condition ever and I suffer quite badly from breakage and split ends as well as the fact it can get quite dry. This range has coconut milk to nourish, whipped eggs to add protein and therefore strength, and finally coconut oils for hydration. It is also sulphate free, which is great as they strip you hair of natural oils. Sounds perfect right?

The shampoo ( £6.99 for 385ml), is thicker than others, I find that some sulphate free shampoo’s don’t foam up enough. No such problem here although its not bubbly foam its a little like whisk egg whites, which would make sense really.

The condition (£6.99 for 385ml), is again quite thick, which for a conditioner I really like. Normally with high-street conditioners I towel dry my hair first and then condition as I find they can be quite watery and work more effectively on drier hair. However, that doesn’t really work with this as its too thick to spread around on dry hair. But it is very moisturising.

The anti-breakage serum ( £6.99 for 118ml), this is what due me too the line originally, as I really want to grow my hair but with all the breakage and fall out it never seems to really happen. I have to say that I’ve been in the sun, the sea and swimming pools for a couple of weeks so it may not have been the fairest test but I am already starting to see a bit of difference when I shower. I never brush my hair as I have ringlets and if I brush them they turn to fizz so I only comb through my hair in the shower and I’ve definitely seen a lot less fall out than I was seeing before.

My only grump about the product is that the gorgeous smell doesn’t stay for very long, even using the oil on dry hair it still only lingers for a couple of hours.

Next I’d really like to try the split end mender but at £21.50 is quite a lot and it’s hard to find in the UK.

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Beautiful but Soggy-Bottomed Quiche

Carrot & Courgette Fleur Quiche Carrot and Courgette Fleur

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Come on isn’t she pretty. And she’s darn tasty too, but as my charming mother said I would’t have won the bake off. Soggy bottomed is probably and understatement, poor Mary Berry would probably be swearing blind at me now for introducing this wet-bottomed monstrosity to the internet, but never mind. She’s pretty so who cares about her wet patches (eh-eh mind from the gutter now).

The idea actually came from pintrest, one of my great loves, but everyone knows that if you ever try to create  something of pintrest at home its always going to fail. Especially when you click to find the recipe and its in greek or french, no where on the whole of the internet could I find the sodding thing in english. Have no fear I did what only throughly over keen people would do and well, made it up.

6 small courgettes (zucchini’s whatever)

6 large carrots

1 short crust pastry just go buy it life’s too short, well you’re going to spend the next two hours arranging strips of carrots so…

4 eggs, 2 egg yolks and 1 egg white

300 ml of cream

2 teaspoons of mustard

6 slices of parma ham

Some parmesan

Roll out the pastry and line a flan dish, one with a removable bottom. Brush the egg white around it and place in the fridge.

Mix together the eggs, yolks, cream and mustard. Season and set aside.

Boil kettle, make tea/remove wine from fridge, add straw. Basically get comfortable. Using a peeler create 100s of vegetable strips.

Start creating the beauty by rolling up a strip of courgette, then wrap a strip of carrot around it. And so on, and so on, and so on. Once you need to use more than one length, go and get the tin out of the fridge (and replenish your wine, you’re only just starting) put the circle in the middle and continue carrot-courgette-carrot-courgette you get the picture. Every now and again add a circle of ham, tear the pieces in half to make them roughly the same width as the vegetables.

Once you are about 2 inches away from the edge and a finale circle of ham. Then start from the outside in. When the two have made celebrate, and you’ll probably be drunk as the proverbial skunk so dance around a little too.

Recover yourself and place the tin in a roasting tray, just incase of any leakage, no one likes leakage. Then carefully pour the egg mixture around the strips and grate the parmesan over the top.

Place in the oven, with the help of a responsible adult, at 180°C for 45 minutes until the egg mix is solid and the cheese is golden brown.

Let me know if you try this out?

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Barry M Loud Mouth Extreme Lip Colour

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Think OCC Lip Tars but on a budget and with a high gloss finish. The first one I brought was Tease, a bright sexy red, very french. They are pretty tricky to apply as a little goes a really long way, it is possible to use the plastic nozzle but I find a small lip brush works a lot better for cleaner lines. Tease only needs one layer but I find that Chatterbox and Gossip both need a couple but don’t go over board as that can make them a little patchy. The wear for a couple of hours and fade nicely, perfect for a night out rather than day time.

Gossip is a lovely bright raspberry pink colour, although not too bright which is nice and looks brilliant with a tan as well as make your teeth look whiter.

Chatterbox has to be my least favourite of my purchases, mainly because the colour just doesn’t really appeal its a classic barbie pink colour.  I also find the consistency is not as great as the other two. Even with just one coat its quite patchy and you really have to push it in to your lips to get even coat.

They are £3.99 but Superdrug has a Buy one get one half price on at the moment. I might have to pop back to pick up Diva, a sultry plum red totally on trend right now.

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My Very Own Green-eyed Monster

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It is not something I’m proud of, at all, in fact I find it a down right annoying habit of mine that has ruined many things in my life. I get jealous: in relationships, about the way other people look, others successes or achievements, pretty much anything and everything. I’ve always done it, when I was at school I definitely distanced myself from a lot of the girls because I was jealous they were prettier than me. I seriously messed up two relationships because I was always worrying that they would cheat on me with someone prettier ( turns out one of them was, but hey there is always arseholes in life).

Recently I’ve really learnt to deal with my jealousy. Its very true that jealousy is just a lack of self confidence, something again I’ve always struggled with, since going to university last September I really feel that my confidence has grown in leaps and bounds. Slowly but surely that is effecting my green-eyed monster. Honestly, is it making me less jealous? No probably not but I can handle it better now and channel it in to good things. For example now seeing a girl with a figure like mine but better makes me want to eat better and work out more rather than stab her eyes out. I find it easier to compliment others when I like something they’re wearing. My boyfriend telling me he’s been out all night partying, makes me want to be there enjoying myself too rather than be there to make sure he’s not eyeing up other people.

I’m a firm believer that everything in life should be enjoyed, but mostly in moderation. I don’t think anyone truly lives their life without jealousy or envy at some point. A little envy is healthy and can motivate you to better yourself as a person. If every woman out there looked at other women and felt motivated to better them selves rather than diminish other I think we’d all be a whole lot happier, no?

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‘The Silkworm’ by Robert Galbraith

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The second in a series by Robert Galbraith (a.k.a. J.K. Rowling). When the Cuckoo’s Calling was published in April 2013 no one  knew that the creative master mind Rowling was behind the dark whodunnit. However the gossip soon got out, and sales rocketed, Rowling said how “wonderful to publish without the hype or expectation”. There was no such mystery around The Silkworm and therefore there has been a whole lot of hype and expectation. 

I throughly enjoyed The Cuckoo’s Calling where we first meet Cormoran Strike a large, damaged, lonely and  broke detective. Sounds familiar? I wonder is there a happily married, wealthy and healthy english detective out there?? Certainly in the fictional world it would seem not. I was not impressed by Strike’s character in either book, its just standard english detective, nothing new. His assistant Robin though, Rowling impressed me there, she’s young and pretty (nothing new) but she is also keen to learn, doesn’t try to mother strike and has some impressive skills up her sleeves. The relationships with her fiancé are well done and add a depth to her character rather than just leaving her at the office door.

The Silk Worm follows Strike investigating first the disappearance and then the gruesome murder of an unpopular author, shortly after he released a novel revealing the dark habits of those surrounding him the literary world. The negative sides of fame and publishing are all the more interesting when you think of who it was written by. Is this just Rowling writing about what she knows or are these some of her views disguised in fiction?

Read time : 2 weeks (455 pages)

Cost: £13.99

Recommend: A mature reader, someone that enjoys an easy read rather than a great one. 

Favourite character: Robin Ellicott, a prime example of the fact you should never judge a book by its cover. 

Favourite quote: ‘he did not look as though life had pummelled him into a quiescent stupor’/’content is king’ 

Favourite thing about the book: I really feel like I’ve grown with J.K. Rowling, I was 5 years old when the first Harry Potter was published which my parents read to me by the 3rd in 1999 I was reading them myself. I grew up with Rowling on my bedside table its nice that she has found her way there again now I’m in my 20s.

Least favourite thing: I have two, its just a little too long, not in page numbers I just feel the questioning of suspects was dragged out a little too much, I got a little bored in the middle but then the end was fantastic again. Secondly there are just too many characters for me, being a bird of very little brains I just found it a little confusing, but that could just be me. 

Have you read either of the ‘Robert Galbraith’ novels? What do you think?

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