Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Book Review: The Confessions of Katherine Howard

Image taken from amazon
After the hugely successful 'The Other Boleyn Girl' I have to admit that I love a bit of Tudor fiction in my life.  This book tells the story of Katherine Howard; Henry's fifth wife who I feel is an easily ignored part of history.  For me, Katherine is the most interesting of Henry's wives and also the saddest.  She was roughly 16 when she married the King, whilst he was a 49 year old obese, bad tempered man.

Katherine seems to have been skirted over during my history lessons at school.  We spent a fair whack of time looking at the Tudors, but never a great deal on this girl who has become my favourite of his six wives. I feel so much empathy for her; she was a young girl thrown into a world of glamour and responsibilities as a Queen, when all that really interested her was entertainment, clothes, jewels and boys.  She was frivolous, childish and made mistakes but paid a price which was hugely unjust.

This book shows a darker side to Katherine, but a vulnerable one nonetheless.  Whilst it is an easy-to-read book, I just felt it was too fictionalized.  It's told through the eyes of Katherine's best friend and features a romance which the author admits was a project of her own imagination.  I know that there's no way the Tudor drama books I read are 100% fact, but I like to believe they are and not have that bubble burst!

A good read that doesn't require too much time and effort dedicated to it.....but not as good as Philippa Gregory.

Is anyone else a Tudor Geek?

Saturday, 22 January 2011

gotta get that


These are part of my long list of current wants.  Realistically, top of my list is a new tv and unit from Ikea for when we move next week but they aren't very pretty are they?!

I've never had a laptop case before, but this one is so stylish it makes me think I desperately need one!  The patent quilting is so cute.....I'm tempted to use it as an oversized clutch!  And the prices seem reasonable too, no?

And since I think I need a new laptop case then I definitely need a shiny new laptop to put in it!  The one I use now has been playing up lately.  Its behaviour has got better since I installed Firefox and de-fragged the disc but Ed assures me it's on its way out.  And besides, this one won't fit in that gorgeous case I've got my eye on ;)  I'm sure macs are the way to go, but I just can't afford one :(

Sweetie bracelets are a bit of a dilemma for me.  I own a silver one (long before absolutely everyone seemed to have one around their wrist) but I do love my gold jewellery.  I think it's the fact that I haven't actually seen anyone with this one that makes me want it even more.  I'm thinking that I'll save up for it, won't buy any cheap high street jewellery, and I'll be able to buy it in no time!  Are sweetie bracelets a hit or miss for you?

Next week is a friend's birthday outing so today I picked up this skirt to wear to the occasion.  Yes, I've linked Milly's blog because she inspired me to get it!  Anyhoo, whilst driving home I realised I don't have a bag to go with it.  Bummer.  Then when looking online for one I was drawn to this one.  I know it won't go with the skirt and I know it's not suitable for a night out but it's just so cute.  Double bummer.  Now I'm left without a bag for next week and pining over one I don't even need.

I actually have this headband but it's on my wishlist because I wish I knew how to work it!  Perhaps I need the bigger size, but it seems to squash my hair up and make me look like a mushroom head.  Which is a shame because it's so pretty, such good quality, and arrived packaged beautifully.  I ordered it from Crown and Glory so do make sure you have a look there because she has such lovely accessories.  And make sure you comment below with your tips on how to wear this because otherwise I'll never be able to!

The Diet Coke Nails Inc collaboration is so incredibly under-promoted in my area, I only found out the way to get my hands on them by reading Amy's blog.  So off I trotted to Boots this morning only to find that the promotion doesn't seem to be running there. Grrrrrr and my bestie had the gorgeous caramel shade on her nails, just to add salt to the wound!  She did promise to pick me up a bottle when she heads into London for work again next week, so fingers crossed she'll be able to.


 My final want is easy to get my hands on, although I know I'll feel incredibly guilty because no doubt I'll over indulge on all of that ice cream!  The craving is too strong though, so me and Ed are off in a minute to get some!

What are you lusting after at the moment?

p.s.  Have you visited my blog shop?

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Afterwords...v.IX

 I'm feeling especially bleugh today.  I think it's down to the fact that I am beginning to officially hate living at home.  It's so difficult for me and Ed to live out of my tiny room, made even worse by the fact that we're constantly surrounded by everyone else's noise.  Right now?  Mum playing clarinet, tv in the room above mine and tv in the living room next door.  I can't stand it.  I'm sick of sleepless nights having to wait until everyone else has gone to bed before I can even contemplate getting some shut eye.  Under two weeks until we move out and I seriously cannot wait.

I don't mean to be a negative blogger and I hope you can see that this is normally an upbeat space.  Every now and then things just get to me, y'know?

That said, today has been made better by the Crown & Glory headband I ordered earlier, endless amount of games of Hearts I've played on the laptop (100% success rate!) and the lovely blog posts I've managed to sit here and catch up on.  Thank you to all the lovely bloggers out there; reading your posts makes me smile :)

Speaking of posts, I was reading Lily's last night about cheap imitation shoes.  Ha ha that sounds like they're not even shoes at all, but what I mean is cheaper imitations of expensive high street shoes.  Lily added a link to a pair of boots on eBay and you may remember my post a while ago where I mentioned I had ordered some myself.  I'm extremely impressed with them; the fur lining is so soft and the quality is such great value for money.  These are the boots I ordered and when you consider they retail in River Island for £45, the £18 I paid including P&P was an absolute bargain.

Post I've loved this week: The Yummy Mummy's Beauty Blog
I've started using Chanel Mat Lumiere at weekends and sometimes look in the mirror only to find it doesn't look quite right on my face.  I'd heard of beauty sponges before, but after Holly's review I'll definitely be investing in one.  Any others you could recommend to me?

Unexpected discovery of the week: almonds
Another graze-related discovery, but after never eating an almond and living under the impression that I hate them I was surprised to find their salsa tossed almonds quite tasty.  I've since fallen in love with their lemon almonds and am looking forward to seeing what food adventures will be sent to me next week.  If you fancy giving graze a go, grab my code on the right for a free box or click here.

Thought for next week: rise above it
Without dwelling on negativity again, the aforementioned step-brother is just full of snidey remarks said loud enough for me to hear but when I'm not in the same room as him.  Next week I resolve to rise above it, after all...he's just a boy.  And an extremely immature one at that.

What's everyone up to this evening?
- Cardigan/Jacket: Primark - Vests: Topshop - Shorts: H&M - Bracelet: Lovelinks - Necklace: Dogeared -

Saturday, 15 January 2011

that boy is a monster

 Do I look pregnant in these pics?  I have just had a Chinese so I assure you it's just a food baby! 

The reason for this posting is to show you all my new cuffs.  They arrived last week but I only managed to wear them yesterday....and yes, it did take a while before I didn't feel like a yeti!  I ordered them in a silver/grey colour as well, but for some reason a fur collar arrived instead.  Asos seem to have been doing that a lot lately - my sister got a coat instead of jeans and I've heard it happen to other people on Twitter as well.  Anyway, what do you think of them?  Yay or nay?

The boy had to work away on Thursday and Friday so to keep myself busy I headed into MAC.  Big mistake, and I've now broken my "one item from MAC a month" resolution.  Bah!  Amongst other things I bought Up The Amp which I'm wearing in this pic and has become my new fave lippie.  That always happens when I buy a new one, but I think this could be a long-term one!  I also fell in love with the MV 3 fragrance but when I went back to get it they'd shut.....and just my luck, it's sold out online as well :(  Does anyone know how often MAC restocks?  

I also bought a new Lovelinks leather necklace.  I have one in black already and a silver bracelet too.  Although the bracelet's a bit of a sore subject; I'd just got it how I wanted it and was completely in love, until I looked down one day and saw that that every single glass bead was cracked or chipped.  I was gutted and still am.  Mum has a Pandora and I always told her that Lovelinks was better for the range of glass beads available, so she invested and they chipped.  I told her it was cos she wore hers 24/7 and that it was her fault, but now it's happened to me and I'm so disappointed.  Especially because suddenly it's every single one that's damaged.  If I didn't know better I'd say it had been run over, but I'm always so careful with it, I know it hasn't even been dropped.  Everyone says I should email them to complain but I dunno....would they believe that I literally looked down to find them smashed?  I just can't bring myself to shell out cash to replace all of the beads and it's even sadder cos a lot of them were presents.  Do you think I should give it a go and email?

Eeep!  I'm not too sure how this became such a rant-filled post.  What are you all up to with your Saturday evening?  Me and Ed have the house to ourselves until 10 when I have to pick my sister up from work.  I treated him and rented A-Team to watch....little does he know it's all part of my masterplan to butter him up so he goes to collect her!  Mwahaha!
- Jacket: Topshop - Top: Topshop - Skirt: H&M - Tights: House of Holland - Cuffs: asos -

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Afterwords...v.VIII

I meant to do an outfit post yesterday but at the last minute I realised I'd drawn perhaps too much inspiration from Lily and didn't want to risk being called a copycat blogger.  If you follow me on Twitter you might remember I pretty much stalked someone who picked up the only one of these skirts in the whole of Zara.....in my defence she rudely shoved me out of the way and near enough plucked it from my hands!  I'd considered buying it at full price, but when it went into sale it became impossible to find in my size.  This still isn't my size, but after my elation at having stole back the skirt from the rude lady I kinda got carried away and bought it even though it's a large.  I'm starting to regret it now, as even a belt to pull it in doesn't disguise the excess material...

This top is another of my recent Primark finds.  Again I was chuffed with the price (£6....I think), hopefully Primark prices will get back to normal in 2011!  I'm dying to get my hands on the pussybow dress Emma at milkteef has been wearing recently; isn't the cut of it gorgeous? 

Hopefully you've spotted the changes in my blog.  This wasn't the original name I had in mind ("toothlesscat" , in honour of my moggy, is already a blog - who'da thought it?) but inspiration struck when Ed called me "Brown Toes".  Don't ask me why, it isn't a nickname he has for me or anything and I don't have dirty toes, but it reminded me of a family colloquialism we have and Scaredtoast was born.  A little bit random, but that's how I like it.  I wasn't going to change the layout of the blog but I figured I'd go the whole way and have a revamp - what do you think?


Standout blogpost of the week: Daisybutter
This was such a thought-provoking post and really made me review what I wanted my blog to be and which direction it was taking.  I love that Michelle brought up the "Followers vs. Readers" debate; you may remember I said I'd change my blog name when I hit 200 followers but if you look to the right you'll see I'm only at 195.  In actual fact I've lost 2 followers this weekend, but I've realised it doesn't matter how many people follow me if they aren't going to bother to read the posts.  I started blogging since the summer and I've noticed how many new blogs are cropping up and, like Michelle says, blogging about the same thing as everyone else.  That's not what I want for Scaredtoast, and hopefully my Readers will be happy with this.
 
Unexpected discovery of the week: iTunes fail
ULTIMATE KYLIE IS NOT AVAILABLE ON ITUNES!!!  It suddenly struck me that I've lost my (second) Ultimate Kylie CD.  Yes, CD, which is why I thought it was time to download it straight to the iPod.  But it isn't there!!  Get it together iTunes.

FYI I'm not a obsessed Kylie fanatic, but I do love bopping to a bit of cheesy pop in the car.

Thought for next week:  start clearing out some stuff!
I'm a real hoarder and with moving day in under three weeks I really need to sort myself out.  Trouble is, there's nowhere to store boxes in my room so it'll all have to be done last minute although I should really go through and sort out what I don't want to keep before I start packing.  Blogshop time methinks.

 
- Top: Primark - Skirt: H&M - Necklace: House of Harlow 1960-

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Book Review: The Magician's Nephew

Yessss I know this is a child's book, but seeing as the new film is out and me and Ed watched Prince Caspian the other day I thought I'd dust off my Chronicles of Narnia boxset and have a read.  Oh, and did I mention this is on of my favourite books?  Like, ever

There are seven books in the Chronicles of Narnia, and although this wasn't written first it does infact come first when put into chronological order.  It tells the story of Digory and Polly, who by the use of Uncle Andrew's magic rings, find themselves able to travel to different worlds and ultimately witness the creation of Narnia.

I could go on and on and detail the story more, but I'll save you the reading and just tell you why I love the book.  See, I love things that fit together nicely; where all ends tie up.  And this book does just that.  Having read The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe (which I'm sure 95% of the population has - or at least seen the film) if you read The Magician's Nephew lots of things about the magical world are revealed.  Why the Lantern Waste is there, for example.  Where The White Witch came from.  Why the wardrobe itself has the power to send people to Narnia.  While these may not have been burning questions upon seeing the film, having the answers to hand is a nice way to round it all off.

I haven't yet seen The Voyage of The Dawn Treader but it's definitely on my to-do list.  I was also happy to see that The Silver Chair is in pre-production and I've got my fingers well and truly crossed that they'll be bringing out The Magician's Nephew.  I'll be first in line to get cinema tickets.

Are any of you "closet" Narnia fans? ;)

T x

Monday, 3 January 2011

just to make sure that you're really sure

I guess my secret's out....the only bit of clear wall in my room is accessible by jumping on the bed for a photo. 
I got this top after watching Lily's video; like Lily I got it a bit bigger, in a size 14 to make it oversized.  I didn't bother trying it on in my size, I think it looks perfect as it is and don't actually think it would work as well any smaller.  The other good thing was that it was a genuine Primark price!  I don't know if I'm the only one to think this, but lately Primark have been getting quite expensive....a tenner for a cardigan?  I'd rather go to H&M!  But this was either £6 or £8 (I can't remember which), a price I'm happy to pay in Primarni!

Since it's back to work tomorrow this will be my last regular outfit post.  Working with kids means a body con skirt really isn't practical; I guess shorts and tights could be, but it's not that sort of school.  Everyone's really casual, with most of the teachers wearing jeans, so I'd feel really overdressed if I rocked up in some of the outfits I post on here!  But who knows, perhaps that could be something to work on in 2011....showing a bit more of my personal style in work.

Speaking of new things for 2011, I'm thinking of a mini overhaul for A Perfect Lie.  You might have read the post below and as heartshapedbruise said, I think I confused people.  I'll still stick with writing posts under the alias Tabitha Bluebell, but I'm thinking I'll change the blog name to something a little more random.  I think that way it gives me a little more room creatively, to change things I post about without affecting the blog as a whole.  Does that make sense?  As a present to myself I'll do the switch-over when I hit 200 followers and will probably change to a  .co.uk too.  That's the good thing about having a random name, I checked and the domain is still available :)

I asked below, but if you haven't answered....what do you think of me changing my blog name?  I know that ultimately it's a personal decision, but I'd also like to know if anyone thinks it's a stupid idea!

Oh, and if you want to help me hit 200 followers please do!  Tweet or something?  I'm @tabithabluebell :) Thanks!

 

- Top: Primark - Shorts: Vero Moda @ asos - Bracelets: Links of London & Tiffany - Ring (unseen): VIPXO-
Edit: Crap, I've just realised it's a Monday.  All these Bank Holidays have really messed me up!  I'll be posting a Reason to Smile tomorrow instead.  I haven't got one ready yet and it seems a shame to waste a blog post I've just bothered to type up!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Afterwords...v.VII

Ignore the badly placed camera lens on the left.
Slightly belated, but Happy New Year!  I do of course hope that all of your wishes come true in 2011 and that the months to come are everything you make them. I'm not really one to think of the New Year as a New Start though.  For me, it's always the right time for re-invention, for growth and for resolutions; I don't ever think that January 1st is the time for change.  A Perfect Lie was started just five months ago and definitely symbolizes the start of a new phase in my life.  I've fallen in love with fashion and for the first time ever I enjoy picking out clothes and getting dressed in the mornings; I'm comfortable in my outfits and make the effort every day to feel good in what I'm wearing.

That said, I've certainly loved reading all of your New Years Resolutions.  From the basic easy-fixes to the deeply thought-out goals for personal growth, every single one has given me an insight into the person behind the blog.  I always have a think of what I'd like to achieve in the next year,but like I said ,it's not set in stone for me; there's always room for improvement.  Which is why, other than the basic "lose 6lbs" goal, there's nothing new to report for me.  We're all adapting day by day, so if you really want to know about my personal growth you'll keep reading A Perfect Lie I suppose.

Standout blogpost of the week: stuckinadumbdaze
Technically this was blogged last week but I forget when I wrote last week's Afterwords and I'm hoping you'll forgive me.  I'm so envious of Jeanne's creativity...my new moleskine is lovingly tucked in my handbag along with a pack of pens just waiting for creativity to strike.  I'm hoping to record something in there every day as a physical memento of my daily activities, as well as my online one here.

Unexpected discovery of the week:  Accessorize nail varnish: Shade 9 - Fudge
The picture above shows off the latest addition to my collection.  I picked it up in Superdrug as part of their 3 for 2 on cosmetics promotion running at the moment.  It didn't really catch my eye in store; I only grabbed it to make up my third item.  I'm loving it though, it's just the right balance of brown and pink without appearing too dark.  My new favourite.

Thought for next week: back to work on Tuesday :(
A very negative thought, but I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking it.  I'm lucky to have so much time off work because of half terms etc, but there's something about returning after the Christmas holidays that just leaves me feeling particularly down.  Who else suffers from the Back To Work Blues?