26 March 2015

My First Ever Published Book Review!

A few weeks ago I uploaded a post called 'A Little Project' - go check it out if you haven't already because it's the first part to this little adventure.
But, if you have already read it - carry on :)
I finished reading the book about a week ago and I definitely had mixed reviews. On one hand, I really enjoyed the 'other-worldly' feel that the book gave but at the same time, I felt like the book had a really specific target audience which sadly, I don't think I fitted into.
But, read my full review here to see if 'Rebecca Newton and the Last Oracle' appeals to you!
(You can also see my review on the Maximum Pop website - link down below)
Describe the plot of ‘Rebecca Newton and the Last Oracle’ in a tweet – less than 140 characters please!
Princess Leylah and her friends are fighting the Titans who are attempting to steal the Sacred Flame and take over the Land of the White Sun.
Have you read the first book in the ‘Rebecca Newton’ series?
No, I haven’t so I was really surprised at how easily I picked up the plot – it’s very accessible!
Without giving anything away, does the ending make you want to read the next in the series?
Definitely! I love romantic cliff-hangers and I just can’t wait to see what happens next – don’t make us wait too long please Mario!
What genre would you class the book as?
Mythic Fantasy.
What was the best bit?
My favourite part was when Leylah first went to the Eylsian Fields to see Lord Life, Lady Felicia’s father. I loved the detail of the chapter and the way Leylah’s awe was portrayed – it made me feel like I was visiting the Eylsian Fields for the first time too!
Anything you didn’t like?
Sometimes, I got confused as to where the events were taking place as the location changed at the start of each chapter. However in general, I really enjoyed the book and would definitely re-read it!
Would you recommend ‘Rebecca Newton and the Last Oracle’ series to your friends?
I think ‘Rebecca Newton and the Last Oracle’ has quite a specific target audience so because of that, I would only recommend it to people who I know that the story would appeal to as I don’t think it is for everyone.
Do you think it would appeal to girls or boys more? Or both?
I think that it would appeal to both girls and boys – there is a perfect balance of action and romance.
Anything else you’d like to tell us about the book?
It was quite different to any book I’ve read in a while as I just don’t think there are many other books quite like this one. I’d definitely agree with the quote on the back cover of the book ‘This is *The Hunger Games* but set against a backdrop of Greek myth and legend’.
I really can't believe how simple it was to 'get a foot in the door' of reviewing and I'm so so happy with how it's all turned out! It's given me a lot more confidence and I'm now much more positive about possible opportunities.
Whatever it is that you want to do... go for it! What's the worst that can happen? You get turned down? Well at least you tried! It will help you grow a thicker skin and will make you tougher and a more powerful character. Think of Adele... she got turned down so many times that she wrote a song about it! However, her perseverance paid off and now she's a world famous pop star.
So, moral of my ramblings: YOU CAN DO IT.
Ok, I think I'll leave it there because it's getting a bit deep and philosophical!
See you soon,
Charlotte x

19 March 2015

An Outfit for Under £25


Today I was brainstorming post ideas and this one really stuck out for me. I'm always always looking for bargains when shopping and I'm often shopping around a budget so I thought it would be useful to show you just how possible it is to create a whole look for just £25. For this outfit, all of the items will be from my absolute favourite shop Forever 21 - I'll make sure to link each of the items at the end. Enjoy!

For the main part of the outfit, I chose a plain black bodycon dress as I think they require so little effort but can look so so effective if the right accessories are added. Here's the one I picked out:

Stretch-Knit Bodycon Dress - £9

Next, I searched for a statement necklace because I just can't get enough of them! I wanted to find one that wasn't to bulky but still demanded attention. For this, I chose the 'Glam Flower Necklace' for Forever 21 - I love love love the sparkly bits threaded into the flower design because I think it adds a bit of glamour to such a simple piece.

Glam Flower Necklace - £5.95

Following the gold theme, I picked a gorgeous, great value bangle set. I really couldn't believe that you got 11 bangles for just £3.90 - that's about 35p per bangle! You get so many in the set but I would wear up to 6 bangles on one hand; or you could spread them out between your wrists.

Etched Metal Bangle Set - £3.90 

To finish the look off, I thought that a hat would really bring it all together. To keep the look casual, I chose a black beanie as you can get them from pretty much any shop at the moment and they're so so comfy! Here's one I liked (although there's so many to chose from on the Forever 21 website):

Ramones Beanie - £6

If I wore this outfit, I would probably style my hair in either loose waves or have it natural, pairing it with neutral makeup and my (somewhat beaten up!) pair of white converse.

So in total, this outfit would cost £24.85 which I thought was super impressive as I don't know about you guys but sometimes I really struggle to put together an outfit under such a strict budget.

Also, I have a little but life-saving tip for you guys when you're shopping with nothing particular in mind. I'm the absolute worst when it comes to decisions and often wear clothes once or twice and then go off them (very bad, I know!) so now whenever I go shopping I try and think of 3 things in my wardrobe that the item would go with and if I can't think of 3 things then that piece isn't coming home with me!

Ok, I hope you enjoyed the post and that it's given you some inspiration to go a hunt out those bargains! If you have any specific post requests feel free to comment down below, tweet me or fill out the contact form on the right.

See you soon,
Charlotte x

7 March 2015

A Little Project


Just thought I'd update you all on something that I'm very excited about at the moment. Yesterday, a parcel came in the post addressed to me and when my mum first saw it, she accused me of buying something with her debit card - honestly! (Just to clarify, I hadn't stolen her card and ordered a load of stuff for myself!). In reality, I was just as clueless as her. So with me being impatient as ever, I ripped the package open and a book dropped out - this made mum even more suspicious as I do love a book or two (oops!). At this point I was even more curious - I had no idea who would be sending me a book. I opened the book and it had a piece of paper in it with my name on. As, I read the short (but sweet) letter I all of a sudden realised what was going on.
About a week ago I applied to review a book on behalf of Maximum Pop and turns out they wanted to give my reviews a try! So I have been chosen to review Maximum Pop's book of the month 'Rebecca Newton and the Last Oracle' by Mario Routi.
I am so so excited to have been given this opportunity and although some people may think it is only a small thing - everyone's gotta start somewhere, right?
So once things have moved on a bit, I'll update you guys and post a link to the review but for now, keep an eye on my twitter (@charlyblogs) for any more developments.
See you soon,
Charlotte x

2 March 2015

Meeting McBusted

Hello March!
I feel like the year is only just getting started, but in reality we're already a quarter of the way through! Can you believe it? I still think of Christmas as 'a couple of weeks ago' and New Year's Eve as 'the other day'; I really need to start checking the calendar more often!
So, as it's been around two months since I last posted on here (I know, I know!!) I thought I would give you a little life update, to fill you in and also to give you a better insight to my life - seeing as I've only ever posted twice!
Like always, most of the world spent the first part of January planning. Planning their new diet, planning to tighten the purse strings, planning to visit long lost relatives more often.... planning. However, in my house that was not the case. We seem to have given up on new years' resolutions as, like everyone, we never stick to them and all that planning goes to waste as our determination fizzles away during the course of the month (if your new years' resolutions are still going strong... go you!!). Instead, my family and I spent January recovering from the craziness of Christmas and attempting to slide back into our old routine of getting up VERY early five days a week to make sure we got to school/work on time, which in our house is no mean feat considering none of us are morning people!
I'd been plodding through January for about a week, when I saw some very exciting news. One of my favourite bands, McBusted, were appearing on Graham Norton's radio show in London that weekend! For me, London is a mere 40 minute train ride away meaning me and my friends are always popping up there for vital (usually, anyway!) shopping trips. As soon as I saw the tweet, I messaged one of my friends, Ellie and err demanded that she came with me... she agreed, of course!
*Before I carry on with the story I just want to quickly explain that while Ellie likes them, she isn't completely obsessed with them*
Anyway, we planned to get up to the BBC broadcasting house (which is just off of Oxford Street if any of you were wondering) for around 9:30 as Graham Norton's slot started at 10 but as usual, we were running late - never mind the fact we both got up at 6! I rushed so much that I left my toast on the worktop so that meant no breakfast for me - sad, I know. After running full pelt around the tube station and down Great Portland Street, we arrived at the studio at around 9:50, we had cut it very fine... oops!
There was probably between 10 and 15 people waiting outside with two security guards and no barriers - good news for us! Ten o'clock came and went and I was beginning to get a bit nervous at this point. But who wouldn't, when the idea of meeting one of your favourite bands was becoming realer by the minute? By 11 o'clock nothing exciting had happened apart from THE Graham Norton walking past us - almost close enough to brush shoulders - without ANY security. I got incredibly excited at this point as I became even more aware of where we were and what we were trying to do!
At around 11:45, I had almost given up any hope of meeting them as it seemed unlikely that they were going to make an appearance at the front entrance as the show finished at one o'clock and we assumed that they would need to be in there at least half an hour before they went on - we had presumed that they had used a back entrance. However not even five minutes later, James Bourne (my favourite one!!) strolled very casually around the corner as though he were oblivious to the (organised) chaos that was happening just a few metres away from him. Somewhere between the time that we got there and that point, barriers had been put up which formed a walkway to the doors of the studio so everyone eagerly moved towards them in hope of talking to him. At this point, I was gripping Ellie's arm so hard it was probably painful - sorry Ell! Casually, James made his way around the walkway, chatting and joking with fans for as long as he could, all whilst munching his way through a bag of pistachios.
When James was getting fairly near to us, Harry turned up much to the excitement of Ellie, as he is most definitely her favourite member. As you can imagine, both me and Ell were near on hysterical with excitement (but only on the inside... we hope!!). James soon approached us, greeting us with a casual 'hey' to which we both squeaked a reply to. I then snapped back into reality and realised that I needed to make this moment count. So this is where me and James begin to have a conversation about... pistachios. Not the most interesting topic, I'll admit but it was the best I could come up with in my excitement.
The three of us took a selfie together and he moved on to the next person, almost unaware of how happy he had just made us. We then went on to meet Harry, Danny and Tom but sadly, there wasn't really time for conversation as they were very late and very rushed. We were very close to getting a photo with Matt, but just as he was talking to the girl next to us, his phone started ringing and when he looked at it, he informed us and the girl (who's name I don't know sorry!) that it was Dougie, 'his favourite' AW. He took the call, telling Dougie that yes he was at the studio and yes he needed to get here quickly, before hanging up and rushing off inside. Around a minute later Dougie made an appearance, looking a little flustered but happy nether the less. He tried to talk to as many people as possible but not even a minute after he had arrived, security approached him and told him that he was very late and was needed in the studio asap. Even though most of us waiting outside didn't get to meet him, we all shouted a cheery BYE at his retreating figure to which he replied to with a wave and an equally loud shout.
My body had pretty much stopped functioning properly by this point due to several reasons:
- the excitement induced adrenaline that was pumping through me
- the oh so typical British weather (torrential rain and utterly vicious wind) which had frozen my feet
- and the fact that I hadn't eaten anything at all :(.
But it was all so so so worth it and I would advise all of you to look out for little things like this on twitter, facebook, instagram or whatever you use as you never know how lucky you might get!
Also, I would just like to add how nice all of the boys were and the short time we did get to spend with them was so fun and the whole situation was very casual, which I loved!
I'll leave you with a few of the photos I took on the day (I'm the brown haired one, Ellie is the blonde one).
See you soon,
Charlotte x

*All photos from this post are my own so I would really appreciate it if you put a link to this post or @ me on twitter (@charlyblogs) if you use them on any social media, thank you :) *