Lifestyle . Fashion . Beauty . Culture

Thursday, 31 January 2013

The books that define us #1

One of my aims for NG this year is to incorporate more literature and film into my blog. I wanted to do something unique though, rather than generic book and film reviews by me, and so I have two new features; 'The books that define us' and 'The films that define us'. The feature consists of a guest blogger writing about some of their favourite, most inspirational and memorable films or books. Not only is it a great way to discover new culture, but also new bloggers too.

I asked  Ellie to open this feature due to the nature of her blog, a space where she writes beautiful, engaging stories and I wanted to know the fiction that has inspired her work. You can check out her blog here. Read on as Ellie takes you on an enchanting journey starting with her most memorable childhood books through to the Young Adult fiction that has inspired how she writes today.

The Babysitters club by Ann. M. Martin.
"I so had to think back on this one and I might be way off base, but I remember how my mother got me started on Ann. M. Martin's The Baby-Sitters Club(1). At that time, she was teaching special ed students with learning disabilities, and her district didn't have books to spare so she invented her lesson plans around characters in this series. Even boys were wanting to know what would happen next with these girls".

The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants by Anne Brashares.
"From reading one Ann's work later lead to another Ann, Ann Brashares' Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants(2). Perhaps there was a growing theme, I wanted to have friendships like that too. And many times I'd write my own journals for friends who moved away, so I could send them a book. Naturally, I'm still writing stories in my blog".

California Diaries by Ann M. Martin.
"Most of my stories are character driven and usually I try to find a way to get to the short attention span (since I have one too). I really loved Ann M. Martin's California Diaries(3). From those books I found Ducky who I still wish we knew what happened to.  He was a best friend that the girls could never completely understand. Of course in those days, one was not going to read the word "gay" nor "homosexual", especially, since these were teen books for middle schoolers. Still, he was rather aloof in spite of him trying to save his suicidal friend. This character influenced me to write characters who are rather complex".

Rainbow High by Alex Sanchez.

"In the Young Adult world of reading, I'm glad I've found Alex Sanchez's work such as Rainbow High(4). He definitely deals with issues and has made many aware of the problems that teens face.  I like the way he writes and he has such a great way of presenting problems and where to go for help".

Doing It and Nicholas Dane by Melvin Burgess
"Another on my list of Young Adult authors who make a difference is British author Melvin Burgess. Yes, Doing It(5) is on my list of favourite books of all times. Perhaps, the book is little bit along the line of TV show Skins, yet I found it did have much more heart. Some of his work does deal with the drug scene and runaways. If any of his books could be made into a movie, I would choose Nicholas Dane(6). It's a heart wrenching story of a boy who lived on the streets during the 80's".

Fearless by Francine Pascal
"One last author I must mention is Francine Pascal. I know she gets a bad rap with her Sweet Valley High series, but she did write another series I just couldn't get enough of; Fearless(7). The story of Gaia, the girl without the fear gene. Of course, one might think it was long commercial of suspense to get to the next book. However, I did like her techniques at catching my interest through different scenes which might only be texts from a cell phone. This series made me want to start my own. I did find the series inspiring".

Shadowland and He's so/She's so novels by Kate Brian.
"So what am I reading now? Kate Brian's Shadowland(8). Its her new trilogy!
She is the author the series Privilege and Private. She also writes under the name Kieran Scott, too. And I adored her He's so/She's so(9) trilogy. However, Shadowland is much darker, and you will find that a lot in Young Adult fiction.  This is the story of Rory who was attacked by a serial killer. Now she and her family are in the witness protection program and have moved. But is it enough to keep her killer away. I'm actually glad this trilogy isn't about vampires. I do like fiction that deals with real problems. I try to do this in my own writing, too".

 All quotes are by Ellie, and I urge you to check out her fabulous blog!
If, like Ellie, you would love to share your most memorable films/books in this feature feel free to contact me at I would love to hear from you!

Have a well-read weekend!

NG <3

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Colour Pops

This Spring/Summer the big trend is monochrome. It's everywhere. Unavoidable. And, luckily, it's a trend ridiculously easy to work, at least a lot easier to work than the recent fascination with crop tops. As lovely as monochrome is, I do love a bit of colour to bring an outfit together and make it stand out. So, if you are like me and want to incorporate colour into the monochrome trend focus on the accessories. Here are my top choices to brighten Spring up!

(From top left downwards.)

Cambridge Satchel Company pink satchel, £95

Boohoo leopard print flats, £18

Asos cuff, £10

Maybelline Colour 24hr tattoo eyeshadow in 'Turquoise forever', £3.99

Bottega Veneta leather pumps, £510

(From middle downwards.)

Dorothy Perkins lace blouse, £28

New Look skater skirt, £16.99

(From top right downwards.)

Miss Selfridge pink tights, £2 

Maybelline Colour sensational popsticks in 'Pink Lollipop', £7.99

Boohoo clutch, £20 

NYC nail polish in 'Times Square', £1.79 

Keep it colourful!

NG <3

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Hair how to: Beachy waves

I for one love a good wave. My hair can be naturally wavy but it can be quite inconsistent so I was delighted to receive the Babyliss wave envy hair styler for Christmas. It's great for adding volume to hair and achieving a brilliant wave like AnnaSophia Robb's locks in 'The Carrie Diaries'.

Here's how I achieve the look;

 Step One: Spray hair with a heat protection spray. I use Salon chic straightening mist. Then tie up the top part of your hair so the under layers can easily be waved. Leave some hair loose to wave. Use the styler and, each section at a time, clamp the styler at the top of the piece of hair and hold in place for 8-15 seconds depending on how thin/thick your hair is.
When this is done move down the piece of hair and repeat until you reach the end of the piece. Repeat on other sections.           

Step Two:When you finish all the hair that is loose, add a little hairspray and then let the bobble loose. Repeat tying it but this time take up less hair so there is more left to wave. Repeat the action described in step one, clamping sections and moving down until all the hair down is wavy. Ad spray when finishing a whole section.

Step Three: Repeat step two until all your hair is wavy. Then move onto the fringe. Sometimes the fringe can be a bit flyway (I speak from experience so if you don't want to wave your fringe I suggest clipping it back into a quiff. 

Step four: When you are finished redo any pieces that haven't taken as well as the rest of the hair.                                                                                                                                                  

Step five: Run a serum through your hair to tame fly aways, polish the look and add shine. I suggest Aussie curl definition soft feel serum.
It is great for curly hair and also for taming the 'bedhead' look, plus even though it's for curls I've started using it when I straighten my hair too.

Step six: If you really want to emphasise the messy beach look a salt spray is essential. I always use Superdrug expertise salt spray. It's inexpensive too. Simply spray the salt spray on and run hands through your hair to add the messy effect. Finish with hairspray, and voila!
The finished result?

Have a fabulous weekend!

NG <3


Tuesday, 22 January 2013


I'm going to be painfully predictable and cliche now and post a snow photo. As I'm sure you're aware if you read any British personal style blogs, England is blanketed by snow (there you go-another cliche). But the truth is that it's just so pretty not to take a picture in the snow, it's just a shame my camera doesn't pick up that glistening effect when the sun is shining above. Luckily it does not pick up just how icy the pathways are too. But my clumsy self will post some pictures before boring you about said falls.

I'm wearing New Look jumper, skirt, necklace, Hollister shirt, Rocha John Rocha boots and Primark tights. 

My motto when the snow falls; 'layer up'. And be practical. A bruised bum really isn't worth it to look a bit taller.  Here's hoping we avoid the aforementioned falls.

Stay safe and warm!

NG <3

Friday, 18 January 2013


Firstly an apology. It seems so long since I have posted and replied to all your lovely comments. The truth is that it has been deadline week at university so I've honestly been staying up until 3 every night to get it finished. Gosh, I do always leave work till last minute-maybe one day I'll learn. Even my own birthday on Monday was spent writing essays but I managed to head out the weekend before to celebrate my 19th birthday.

I'm wearing Missguided dress, New Look heels and Accessorize clutch.
I paid £13.50 for this bag-down from £45! Can you believe it? I think it's the only decent thing I've got in this year's January sales.

Have a fabulous weekend!

NG <3

Thursday, 10 January 2013

H&M Rock 'n' Roll Mansion Preview

Who better to evoke the sixties than the oh-so-cool, oh-so-sultry Georgia May Jagger? All Bardot blonde beehive and seductive smoky eyes, Georgia perfectly embodies the sixties perfectly in these behind the scenes preview shots for H&M's Rock 'n' roll mansion line, released in February and shot by Terry Richardson. What do you think about the preview shots and the pieces?

An early favourite of mine is this pastel pink studded biker jacket. The palette softens up the leather and studs adding a twist to the expected black leather jacket.

NG <3

Friday, 4 January 2013

Best of the 2013 January sales

I have to admit I have been very disappointed this year with the January sales. It seems that little money is knocked off or items I hoped to find are not in the sale. However do not fear; even as we approach the second week of January there are still little gems to be found. Here's my top sale items of 2013;

1. New Look boots, £27.99 £14
I love the sophistication of these boots and the leopard print heels adds a sexy, unexpected twist to a classic boot.

2. Boohoo blouse, £20 £10
A prim and proper blouse, the rolled up sleeves and tied front add a laid back edge.

3. Aubin and Wills bikini top, £40 £24
Affordable luxury. Yes, I am thinking of beachwear already and you should to.

4. Boohoo dress, £25 £15
This dress has such a tropical feel. I like the floaty chiffon of the skirt too.

5. Missguided dress, £32.99 £19.79
Slinky dress? Embellished neckline? Beachy waves? Hello holidays!

6. Missguided jacket, £34.99 £17.50
So Chanel. Classic, chic, perfect.

7. Asos satchel, £40 £24
I've been after a satchel for ages. The colours, size, shape and overall design of this Asos beauty are just what I've been looking for.

I hope you have found this useful. I will note that at the time of editing all these products still had available stock but I cannot guarantee this will be the case for a while-you know how fast sales work!

Have a fabulous (and thrifty) weekend!

NG <3

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

New Year, Better You

Firstly I'll start off by saying happy new year! I hope you had an amazing time celebrating the arrival of 2013 and wish you all happiness and bliss for the coming year.

The new year always kicks off with the motto 'new year, new me' but I want to change things up a little and throw 'new year, better me' into the mix. I believe that you should never drastically change the fabulous person you are and should see the new year and its accompanying resolutions as an opportunity to embrace yourself and be the best version of yourself as you possibly can be! Whether it be experimenting with make up more or trying out yoga, I urge you to find happiness with yourself-not punish yourself in the hopes to be something you're not. I can't deny that I'll be investing more hours in Zumba this year for but it is for the purposes of being healthier and therefore happier.

 My resolutions?

1. Always try to make a minimal effort. No more going to lectures after just rolling out of bed. A simple swipe of lipstick can do wonders.

2. If the Christmas holidays have taught me one thing it's to keep up with assignments throughout the term.

3. Give at least 3 compliments a day. And smile more.

What are your resolutions for 2013?

Oh, and one last resolution. Must get a new job so I can afford to indulge in my boot obsession.

Aren't they just lovely?

£120, River Island.

NG <3
© NG

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