28 February 2014

The #LovingMe Project

The #LovingMe Project

As many of you will already know, 23rd February through 1st March is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Eating disorders affect a lot more people than you think, and not just women either. Since 2000, the amount of people diagnosed with an eating disorder has risen by 15%, as well as a 27% increase in the number of males diagnosed with an eating disorder in the U.K. alone.

It is not always clear why an eating disorder develops, and it can happen to anyone, but most often a person suffering from an ED, whether diagnosed or undiagnosed, will have very little self worth, and a very distorted body image. This is why Her Campus have created the The #LovingMe Project which is designed to encourage people, young women especially, to explore what they love the most about themselves (excluding anything physical), on social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Remember, you are more than just a pretty face, so much more.

Personally, I love the fact that I am a good listener, I am crafty and creative, and I am just an all-round nice person with a big heart who would do anything and everything in my power to see my loved ones smile. There's actually a lot I love about myself, but I am guilty of neglecting to remember these things, as I am sure we all are, but I believe that gently reminding yourself of all your best 'inside' qualities on a regular basis can only be a positive thing, and from now on I am going to ensure that I do just that, and I encourage you all to do the same!

What do you think your best 'inside' qualities are?

27 February 2014

In the Summer time when the Weather is Hot...

The title of this post is very misleading, because here in the U.K. it is definitely not summertime, and the weather is far from hot, BUT, my family are in cahoots about going on holiday this year (I hear Salou is at the top of the list), so planning my summer wardrobe in advance is surely the most logical thing to do. (N.B. 'Planning in advance' should be taken to mean 'torturing oneself with pretty clothes I cannot afford to purchase until April'). Either way, I love making lists (and I wanted to try out Polyvore) so here goes!


01. Kelly Brook Navy and White Polka Dot Frill Swimsuit, £24.99, New Look, I am adverse to wearing a bikini, so all-in-one it is. This one is just so cute, I love the little frill at the bottom.
02. Embellished Wayfarer Sunglasses, £18.00, Lipsy London, I just love these, oversized sunnies are the way forward.
03. Floral Sunnies Case (also available in Purple), £8.00, Topshop, ... and of course, I need an adorable case to keep my sunglasses in when I'm not wearing them (and also somewhere safe for my glasses when I'm wearing my sunnies!)
04. Pink Gem Stone Embellished Flatform Sandals (also available in Black), £50.00, River Island, I literally cannot remember the last time I owned a pair of sandals (I haven't been abroad since I was 9 years old, and the U.K seldom has 'sandal weather') but these 'flatforms' are so adorable and girly, and they also come in black!
05. Leopard Print Maxi Dress, £14.00, George at Asda, I never usually wear maxi dresses because I'm so little, they drown my tiny 5'2" frame, but they are a holiday staple, and I adore the pattern of this one (leopard print FOR THE WIN!) so I'm going to try it.
06. Heart Print Rucksack, £10.00, George at Asda, I'm loving the heart print pattern on this backpack, it's perfect for keeping all my stuff in for going to the beach, and it zips up for added safety. Perfect.

Will you be going on holiday this year? Have you already started planning your summer wardrobe?

24 February 2014

'Bridge to Desire' by Alice K. Cross

"Bridge to Desire" by Alice K. Cross.
Amazon UK: Link. ISBN: 978-1-61937-680-9.
Publisher: Musa Publishing (9th January 2014).

Synopsis: Lissa just broke up with her boyfriend and is feeling uninspired by her job. There was never a better time to take a chance with an intriguing stranger.

I will be completely honest with you guys, erotica is not a genre I read very often, nor is LGBT, not because I have any objections to either genre, but just because I think it can be difficult to write stories in such genres that are able to keep the balance between artistic and, for lack of a better term, literary porn. However, Cross's "Bridge to Desire" is beautifully written throughout. The sex scene is very much relevant to the story, which is brilliant because I've read other books in the genre which are just including such scenes just because they can. The story also touches upon curiosity about sexuality, with the main character having recently ended a relationship with a male, only to pursue an adventure with a woman. I don't like to reveal too much in my reviews because I am so scared of spoilers, so I really would advise you to just download yourself a copy of this eBook, if you're interested in these genres, or even if you're not, it's always good to try something a little different.

Overall, I give 'Bridge to Desire' by Alice K. Cross a rating of 4/5.

As well as being given the opportunity to review this book, I was also lucky enough to be able to conduct a short interview with the author, Alice. Here are the questions I asked her and the answers she gave me. Enjoy!

When did you decide to become a writer and what was it that made you decide?
"I have been writing professionally for many years, though I only recently decided to try writing erotica. The main reason is that I simply wasn't finding the right erotica for me. I like many of the things I have read by others, but I couldn't quite fully identify with any of it. I decided to write my own stories and sexual-romantic fantasies and put them out there for anyone else who might enjoy them too."

What are your favourite book(s) and/or author(s)? Do you feel that their writing has inspired you at all?
"Some of my favorite writing is by American women of color. I love the books of Toni Morrison and Louise Erdrich, for example. I also like many British lesbian writers like Sarah Waters and Ali Smith. (I will add Emma Donaghue, though she is Irish, in spite of some education in Britain and I know she wouldn't want to be lumped in with the British!)

Everything I've ever read influences my writing. I can't say it is a one-to-one relationship, but the sound of the words of other writers has been in my mind all my life and those words and their rhythms come back out of me in my own writing. It is a bit like breathing. Reading is an inhale and writing is an exhale."

Are you able to see parts of yourself within the characters you write about, or are they purely a work of fiction?
"My characters are fictional, but all of them came out of my head. This is true for all writers, though many will talk about feeling that their characters come to them from outside themselves. It can feel that way, true, but I know that my own life experiences, emotional reactions and hopes and dreams (and fantasies, of course!) are part and parcel of my characters."

The way in which you write your sexual scenes is rather artistic, whereas other novels of a similar nature can be a bit too much - do you ever find it difficult to draw a line between just right and too much or too little?
"I am glad you find the sex scenes just right. I think this is dependent on individual taste and personal experience. Whether a sex scene is too little or too much can really vary between readers. I write the kind of scenes I like to read, so in my case, the choices I make are simply based on my own taste rather than worrying about getting it right for any particular audience. I just cross my fingers that enough readers will share my taste to enjoy them too!"

"It makes me very happy when I hear that others indeed appreciate my work.

Thanks so much for the interview."

Have you read "Bridge to Desire"? If not, would you consider reading it? Let me know what you thought of the book and my review in the comments below!

18 February 2014

ShopLately.com Wishlist

I recently discovered a website called ShopLately.com and instantly fell in love with all their products. Unfortunately, Shop Lately do not currently offer shipping to the U.K. so this is just a wish list at the moment. (Hey! A girl can dream, can't she?! No? Well I'm going to do it anyway, so there!) It was hard to resist just adding Every. Single. Item. they sell.

Images © ShopLately.com

01. Love Bracelet - It sparkles, enough said.
02. Galaxy Bracelet - Just so cute & pretty unique.
03. Bamboo LULA-80 Panda Round Toe Flat - Easily my absolute favourite item on the list, they're shoes with PANDA FACES.
04. Tummy Control Fleece Leggings (High-Waisted) - I have a self-confessed phobia of jeans, so I live in leggings, they're so comfy. High wasted with tummy control (I have more to love!), NEED.
05. Skull Elbow Top - I love skulls. I've never seen a design like this before, but I love it. Simple yet gorgeous.
06. Spike Ears Beanie Hat - I'm really feeling the studs at the moment, and this hat has the added bonus of ears. So cute!
07. 90s Revival Studded Backpack - See above. Studs FOR THE WIN. Also, I tend to carry a lot of (useless) stuff with me, so I need a big bag to fit it all in. Perfect.
08. COB & PEN Pink Sweetheart Wallet - Similar as above, I need a huge purse (wallet) because I have so many store cards etc. (but not much money to keep in there, unfortunately! Oh the irony!)

Have you had a look at the Shop Lately website? What are your favourite products?