Review of You And Me, Always by Jill Mansell

Published: 28th January 2016


On the morning of Lily’s twenty-fifth birthday, it’s time to open the very last letter written to her by her beloved mother, who died when she was eight. Learning more about the first and only real love of her mum’s life is a revelation. On the same day, Lily also meets Eddie Tessler, a man fleeing fame who just might have the ability to change her world in unimaginable ways. But her childhood friend Dan has his own reasons for not wanting Lily to get too carried away by Eddie’s attentions. Before long, secrets begin to emerge and Lily’s friends and family become involved. In the beautiful Cotswold village of Stanton Langley, nothing will ever be the same again…


Thank you to Headline for kindly sending me a review copy.

You And Me, Always begins with a very uplifting and quite entertaining chapter. Straight away, we met our two main characters Lily and Dan who I instantly loved reading about. Their friendship was so smooth, easy to fall into step with and Jill made me believe that they truly had been the best of friends since their childhood. Patsy (sister to Dan) is a bubbly, full of energy character whose point of view I strongly enjoyed reading. Her life was interesting, hilarious and at the best of times, she knew how to surprise people.

“You can see the connection between you. You can feel it. I mean, I’m not just imagining it, am I? It’s really and truly there.”

On Lily’s 25th birthday, she receives the final letter from her Mum who passed away when she was young; I thought this was a heartwarming idea for a storyline especially because it could twist and turn in any direction and Lily chose to hunt someone down. The plot wasn’t just about digging up her Mum’s past, Lily also had an unlikely love interest with a particular star and not surprisingly, her best friend Dan (oh hello handsome) didn’t like the new chap one little bit. I wonder why?

“If I’m lucky, my lunch will be a doughnut and a mug of tea.”

I liked the fact that the book wasn’t just from Lily’s point of view, we heard from four characters in total and all of their stories were just as interesting and captivating as the next. Jill’s writing is so captivating, exciting and you really do go on a wonderful journey with these characters. Despite having a sneaky suspicion where the main plot line would end up, I still enjoyed the anticipation of the story. This is a book which I’m quite certain people will love in the New Year so make sure you pick up a copy because Jill Mansell does not disappoint.

Twitter: @JillMansell

Review of The Two Of Us by Andy Jones

Published: 7th May 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 464


Fisher and Ivy have been an item for a whole nineteen days. And they just know they are meant to be together. The fact that they know little else about each other is a minor detail. Over the course of twelve months, in which their lives will change forever, Fisher and Ivy discover that falling in love is one thing, but staying there is an entirely different story.


Ivy and William (Fisher) have been together for a matter of weeks; they’ve made love everyday, made toast in the nude and spent as much time as they possibly can together. But something has changed, Ivy is different but why? Straight away, I feel in love with their relationship despite being left in the dark by Ivy’s problem. When Ivy tells Fisher that she is expecting their baby, I wasn’t surprised but I certainly was when the sonographer informed them both of some news – the title makes perfect sense once you read this scene; a beautiful yet petrifying thought all in one.

“The difference, I suppose, is that this is now my home. Our home.”

From family members moving in to a critically ill best friend to those three special words, The Two Of Us really covers everything. The arguments between Fisher and Ivy were realistic; the whole going to bed without clearing the air and tip-toeing around each other in the morning were spot on. Andy’s writing is so chilled out yet serious when it needs to be – I love it.

“But none of that changes the simple fact that Ivy is my ‘one,’ and I intend to be with her until one of us (me, I hope) dies peacefully in our sleep.”

I will warn you now: this isn’t an easy, light hearted ending. It’s quite difficult to read through the lump in your throat, trying to stop the sobs coming when you’re reading your Kindle in public. I’ve read many a plot which focus on emotional, true aspects of life and I’m so pleased Andy wrote about it. Ivy and Fisher do not have an easy path in their relationship but they’re strong and that is what I love about them. This is by far, one of my favourite books of this year and I can’t wait to tell everyone about it.

“Say hello to Daniel.”

Twitter: @andyjonesauthor

Max Factor’s Velvet Volume Mascara & Miracle Match Foundation


Oh hello weekend, 

If you saw my other Max Factor post on Monday, you will know that I decided to split my post into two – no reason for this, other than I didn’t want a HUGE post filling you all with too much detail on beauty products. Who am I kidding? You would probably have loved it, ha!

*Disclaimer: Max Factor have kindly sent these products for review for my opinions are 100% my own and have not been influenced in the slightest.

Velvet Volume Mascara



I have had a very hard time figuring out which mascaras work for me and which don’t. Max Factor’s mascaras are absolutely beautiful; their packaging is just stunning and they are by far, one of my favourite brands. I’ve tried this mascara multiple times now and I just can’t seem to get it to make any velvet volume which is just typical for me and my super tiny lashes. But, do not be put off by my opinion as I’m still trying to make it work *fingers crossed* – I’ll keep you posted.

Miracle Match Foundation



If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you will know that foundation is not my friend. I’ve had multi bad reactions with spots going crazy (I don’t get spots very often, lucky duck!) so I’ve never worn foundation… UNTIL NOW! Max Factor very kindly sent me their Miracle Match Foundation in the light ivory shade and I have to say – I adore it. My makeup looks so much better and I don’t use an awful lot of it so it will last me quite some time (or so she hopes). I’ve even treated myself to a foundation brush just so I can get that full coverage without resembling an Oompa Loompa. Miracle Match Foundation, I love you.

Have you tried any Max Factor products recently? Let me know in the comments below.

EL xx

Olay’s Limited Edition Skincare


Happy Wednesday all, 

Today, I am back with another beauty post but this time, it’s mainly about skin care. Olay are a company who I never heard bloggers discussing and I’m quite surprised about that. After kindly being sent a selection of their Limited Edition products, I’m now a huge fan. But don’t be fooled by what people say – Olay isn’t a brand for the older generation because at the age of twenty-four, I love it.

*Disclaimer: Olay have sent these products for review but my opinions are 100% my own and have not been influenced.

Hydration + Radiant Glow




The word summer springs to mind right now. As a light weight moisturiser, the hydration and radiant glow product really does give your skin exactly what you need during the winter months: a glow! With SPF 15 slipping into the bottle, I’m very tempted to save this product until the warmer months next year because it really would be ideal for summer time.

Hydration + BB Cream




If you don’t wish to wear a full foundation during the day, a BB cream is your next bet and I think I’ve found the one for me. With UV protection, Vitamin B3, 24 hour moisture and a hint of Max Factor X foundation – this is perfect for days when you want to wear makeup but not an awful lot.

Hydration + Flawless Blur




Oh hello new holy grail product. The word ‘excellent base for make-up’ don’t even quite cover it because it is absolutely flawless when it comes to being a base. I used this for the first time at the beginning of a busy day at work and by the end of my shift, my makeup was the same as it was when I applied it in the morning. I’m completely obsessed with this product. OBSESSED.

Total Effects 7in1




Don’t be fooled by the words ‘age defying’ because at the age of twenty-four, I certainly do not look my age – people assume I’m eighteen if not younger but this is such a great moisturiser for during the day. I haven’t used it a great deal as I do have my trusty Nivea but when I do use the Olay product, my skin feels incredible from morning to evening.

Have you used any Olay products? If not, which would you like to try from the above? Let me know in the comments below.

EL xx

Max Factor’s Lipfinity Long Lasting Lipsticks


Hello beauty lovers,

Can you believe this is the first post of November? Time has gone seriously quick and this time next month, it will be Blogmas. SO EXCITED. Max Factor are one of my all time favourite brands – from their beautiful packaging to their stunning colours, I absolutely adore working with them.

Today, I’m reviewing their beautiful Lipfinity lipsticks and on Friday, I’ll be showing you all about their foundation and mascara so… STAY TUNED!

*Disclaimer: Max Factor have sent these products for review yet my opinions remain 100% my own.

Lipfinity Long Lasting Lipsticks





Just Alluring is a vibrant pop of pink which I’m hoping I’m going to grow into. It’s most definitely a shade for an evening out with your girls – it’s such a fun colour and as this was the first lipfinity lipstick which I tested out, I can confirm that it is most definitely nourishing. My lips feel SO SOFT.



Here’s a little tip for you: when applying any red lipstick, make sure you line your lips because you most definitely do not wish to look like Miranda Sings. Forever Striking is such a beautiful understated red colouring which I’m definitely going to save for the Christmas period.



Now, don’t be fooled by the deep purple colouring of Evermore Lush because I expected a very strong shade of purple but to my surprise, it is actually quite subtle. This is most definitely my favourite lipfinity lipstick of them all and it is finding itself slipping into my every day make up routine.

The new Max Factor Lipfinity lipsticks allows up to 8 hours of long lasting wear with the new moisture replenish lipstick being infused with lip conditioners and nourishing oils. The lipstick glides beautifully leaving your lips with a heavenly pop of colour. With plenty of colours to choose from, Boots offer the Lipfinity for £8.99 and who knows, a 3 for 2 deal could be happening.

Which are these beautiful lipfinity lipsticks do you like or have you tried any others? Let me know in the comments below. I’ll see you on Friday for another Max Factor post.

EL xx

Make Up Revolution’s Amazing Curl Mascara


Hello beauty lovers,

Two weeks ago, I popped into my local Superdrug store to have a nosy at a few of the makeup counters. I’ve seen my friend and fellow blogger Brianne raving about Make Up Revolution recently and it’s been a while since I purchased anything from them so why not?

*Disclaimer: Make Up Revolution have not sponsored me for this post. I purchased the item with my own money. 



The Amazing Curl Mascara is £2. TWO WHOLE POUND FOR THIS AMAZING BEAUTY PRODUCT! I’ve been using  other mascaras recently from brands such as Maybelline, Max Factor, W7 and Benefit but I was struggling to find the perfect mascara and finally, I have found it.

From the curved brush applicator to the gorgeous black/gold packaging, I’m head over in heels in love with this mascara. Definitely going to try out a few of their others to see if I adore them as much as this one.

Have you tried any Make Up Revolution mascaras?

EL xx

Halloween Vanilla Cupcakes



I’ve never baked anything for Halloween before and these vanilla cupcakes courtesy of a Mary Berry cookbook is so easy and rather fun once you start decorating. The paper cases and spiders are from ASDA as well as a packet of Haribo festive sweets and teeth. There wasn’t much to choose from in my local but I made do.

Cupcake Ingredients For 12:
100g (4oz) Softened Butter
150g (5oz) Self-Raising Flour
150g (5oz) Caster Sugar
3 tbsp Milk
2 Large Eggs
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Butter Icing Ingredients:
100g (4oz) Softened Butter
225g (8oz) Sifted Icing Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract


1.) Preheat the oven to 180 Degrees/Fan 160/Gas 4. Put the muffin cases into the muffin tin, so that the cakes keep a good even shape as they bake.
2.) Measure all the cupcake ingredients in to a large bowl and beat until blended and smooth. Spoon evenly between the paper cases.
3.) Bake for 20-25 minutes or until risen and golden brown. Lift the paper cases out of the tin and cool the cakes on a wire rack until completely cold before icing.
4.) To make the butter icing, beat together all the ingredients to give a creamy thick icing, then smooth over the cold cupcakes.












Are you baking anything for Halloween this year? Let me know.

EL xx

Review of Hello, Goodbye And Everything In Between by Jennifer E. Smith

Published: 1st September 2015
Pages: 257


One night. A life-changing decision. And a list… Of course Clare made a list. She creates lists for everything. That’s just how she is. But tonight is Clare and Aidan’s last night before college and this list will decide their future, together or apart. It takes them on a roller coaster ride through their past – from the first hello in science class to the first conversation at a pizza joint, their first kiss at the beach and their first dance in a darkened gymnasium – all the way up to tonight. A night of laughs, fresh hurts, last-minute kisses and an inevitable goodbye. But will it be goodbye forever or goodbye for now?


Clare and Aidan are leaving for college tomorrow morning, on opposite sides of America and their goodbye of a two year relationship seems to be the hardest. Clare has a plan for their final evening: visit every place in their town with means something to them, to their relationship and with some hope, Aidan might remember why they’re there. Instantly, they come across as the stereotypical very cute, very in love high school couple and with every single Jennifer E. Smith novel, I absolutely loved it.

“To fit two whole years into one final evening; to dump all the pieces out of the box and then put them back together again in the right order so that they can see the whole thing spread out before them.”

The outline of the plot is one evening, remember and treasuring those special moments. I really do enjoy how Jennifer allows a few hours to pan out over an entire narrative. Her writing is Young Adult magic which you can’t help but absorb as you sink into the lives of the very addictive characters. Clare is sweet, organised and like most females in the world, she’s worried about her relationship with Aidan who is one of those characters who will always make you smile.

“I also read that there are even more stars than there are grains of sand in the whole world. Isn’t that crazy?”

It isn’t all about the happy memories though. Jennifer adds a very heavy dose of realism into the plot when Clare and Aidan begin to fight over a college application lie. It is then that we dive deeper into their relationship and understand why those three special words mean more to one than to the other. It’s very easy for the reader to fall into step with the loved up couple and I really enjoyed their story.

“Sometimes the hardest things are the ones most worth doing.”

The ending was bittersweet and it was clear what was going to happen. I was completely hooked from start to finish and by the time I reached the 90% mark on my Kindle, it was dark outside and I had been reading all day long. It is yet another superb novel from Jennifer E. Smith – time and time again, she knocks them out of the park and she is by far, one of my favourite Young Adult authors of all time. I can’t wait to see what she writes next.

Twitter: @JenESmith

Review of A Parcel For Anna Browne by Miranda Dickinson

A Parcel for Anna Browne

Published: 24th September 2015
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Pages: 528


Anna Browne is an ordinary woman living an ordinary life. Her day job as a receptionist in bustling London isn’t exactly her dream, yet she has everything she wants. But someone thinks Anna Browne deserves more… When a parcel addressed to Anna Browne arrives, she has no idea who has sent it. Inside she finds a beautiful gift – one that is designed to be seen. And so begins a series of incredible deliveries, each one bringing Anna further out of the shadows and encouraging her to become the woman she was destined to be. As Anna grows in confidence, others begin to notice her – and her life starts to change. But who is sending the mysterious gifts, and why?


Thank you to Pan Macmillan for kindly sending me a review copy.

The narrative opens with a male point of view; one who is waiting in line to hand over a parcel and is trying not to be late to see his family on the Friday evening as usual. Miranda’s distinctive writing style caught my eye immediately with the soft tones, the exciting plot line and the main character of Anna Browne who you can’t help but admire from the beginning chapter. Reading this book, just know you’re in for a treat..

“But how unusual for Anna to be the topic of gossip – little, quiet Anna Browne on reception, who nobody ever noticed! The thought of it made her smile all afternoon.”

Despite being happy as a receptionist at a London newspaper, Anna finds herself spending two weeks with the very gorgeous journalist Ben McAra. With his dashing good looks allowing all the women employees to swoon and his ambition to continue in the journalist field, there wasn’t a bad bone to be found. As a character, Anna was a walking ball of light; she was so happy, uplifting and comfortable in her own skin. It was such a lovely input to include what other characters thought of Anna such as her neighbour, her work colleagues and a stranger in a coffee house who had all become her friends of some description. The whole sending of the parcels were a complete mystery and honestly, I didn’t mind who it was from because it made Anna happy and that made the book even more wonderful than it already was. (I was rather jealous of the owl brooch though!)

“By 8:30 a.m. the story was a full-blown viral sensation…”

Working in a building filled with journalists means a story is born every five seconds and when everyone gets wind of Anna’s mysterious parcels, the questions and suspicions come flooding in. Will she be betrayed by one of them, especially the handsome one or someone else? Either way, it’s pretty shocking. What wasn’t to my surprise was that despite all the backlash and drama, Anna had the very strong support system of her neighbours, friends and fellow employees – it was heartwarming to witness people coming together in order to help someone rather than stabbing them in the back.

“It can be easy, at times like these, to lose sight of the good. Not everything you’ve encountered is negative. Try to remember that.”

When the lavish work party allows the narrative to slowly draw to a close, Anna learns who the mystery parcel sender is and let me tell you: it’s probably the last person you will think of. Talk about not seeing that coming! Bravo Miranda. With the strong amount of beautiful description to characters who were picked to perfection to a plot which could very easily be a well-loved film, this is one of my favourite books of 2015 and one I’ll be recommending for a very, very long time.

Twitter: @wurdsmyth

Review of Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Published: 3rd September 2015 
Random House
Pages: 320


Madeline Whittier is allergic to the outside world. So allergic, in fact, that she has never left the house in all of her seventeen years. But when Olly moves in next door, and wants to talk to Maddie, tiny holes start to appear in the protective bubble her mother has built around her. Olly writes his IM address on a piece of paper, shows it at her window, and suddenly, a door opens. But does Maddie dare to step outside her comfort zone?


Thank you to Random House for kindly sending me a review copy.

Madeline is allergic to the world. She has a white bedroom, a white couch and a white bookcase with coloured books. With the use of daily health diaries and jotted down memories from her childhood, Everything, Everything became a very unique story within a few chapters. When Olly moves into the house next door, things start to change: Madeline becomes interested in him, in the outside world.

“You should see my spoon collection.”

As far as cuteness go, Olly wins by a mile. His little comments towards Madeline are spot on, they’re not overly cheesy like you may expect from a Young Adult book but they’re enough to make you smile and feel all warm inside. As their friendship continues, Madeline forgets about the touching boundaries and seems to forget that this could possibly kill her. Yikes! We all know falling in love is powerful, but death? The relationship between Madeline, her Mother and her nurse Carla was something special; they were a very unit from the first page, knowing how each other ticked and what to do in the hope of love.

“It looks like someone sprinkled chocolate across your nose and cheeks.”

How can a narrative about one young teenage girl being in a house 24/7 be so powerful and life changing? Reading this allowed me to view how lucky I am to be able to walk outside whenever I wish. Madeline may just be another main character with a life changing illness, but it is one who has the ability to help shape the minds of the reader which makes Young Adult novels so bloody fantastic. Leading up to the end, Madeline gets the shock of her life and I couldn’t quite believe what I was reading. A mother would do THAT?!? The love between Madeline and Olly was just perfect; he loved her for who she truly is. If you enjoyed The Fault In Our Stars, you will love this (minus the whole Cancer story line though!).

“Sometimes you have to leave the people who love you the most, he said.”

Twitter: @NicolaYoon