Masters of Mayfair

imageMy brother showed me Masters of Mayfair featured in one of the Sunday supplement magazines. I like my room to be completely dark and when I looked at these and the reviews I decided to go ahead and treat myself.

I’ve had sleep masks before a blackout one which wore out within a year and a cashmere one which doesn’t cover the eyes fully.

What I liked about Masters of Mayfair and why I ordered from them were the fact they were liked by air travellers for blocking out light, the colour choices and being made from soft fabrics.

The outer is a beautiful velvet fabric with a silk lining. There is a small amount of lavender within the sleep mask. The positioning of this is perfect as it sits within smelling distance to help you drift off to the land of nod. However it does need to be squeezed to refresh the scent as it’s not a strong lavender, which is perfect if you’re not a fan of lavender. The strap and fastener lie flat against the head, perfect for back sleepers as it doesn’t dig in. It’s fully adjustable too.

The eye-masks come beautifully boxed making them perfect for gifts and they’re made in London!

I really like this sleep mask, even though I have blackout curtains light does come in a little at the sides and around the door. The sleep mask makes sure the early morning light doesn’t disturb my weekend lie-ins.

Catching those Z’s

imageLate last year I wrote a blog post about creating a bedtime routine which you can read here

During this past week I have noticed that when I put these steps into practice it works a treat. So my routine of an evening has been:

4:30-5pm – Evening meal (depending on when the workers return home).

6pm – Mug of tea with a square of chocolate.

7pm – No screen time. Read a few chapters of a book. I found that when I read on the tablet (kindle app) it keeps me awake.

8pm – Get ready for bed (turn the covers down, pj’s on and tidy away what I’ve used in the day to get myself ready). When finished pick up the book again.

9:30pm – Brush teeth and jump into bed. Read until eyes feel heavy.

10-10:30pm – Lights out, eye mask on.

Having tried many eyemasks I’ve found this one to be my favourite as the fastener doesn’t dig in, the fabrics are soft and the lavender smell disappears but can be rejuvenated by gently squeezing it between the fingers and also popping it on the radiator before sleep helps. I’ll be reviewing this in the coming weeks.

Heat can also distrupt sleep so make sure your nightwear isn’t too thick. Yawn London make some of the nicest pj’s, Hanro nightdresses are lovely and Cath Kidston’s lighter cotton range is perfect for summer nights.

 

 

Laura Mercier Face & Eye Palette

imageI received for Christmas from my parents, the Laura Mercier face and eye palette. It was an exclusive palette for Space NK.

The compact is animal print and features a large mirror in the lid which is perfect for using to apply make-up on the go as you can see the whole face. The eyeshadows feature 4 luminous shades and 4 matt shades. The eyeshadows feel soft and silky and apply beautifully and blend well. The eyeshadows can be worn individually with the darker shades used as eyeliner.

Also featured in the compact is a cheek colour and radiance face powder. These palettes are available every year in different configurations.

This is my first Laura Mercier purchase and I know it will not be my last. The colours are perfect for Autumn/Winter eye looks. The lighter colours would look perfect during the warmer months with the darker shades as eyeliner.

These compacts are great for those who love to experiment with lots of make-up looks. It is also perfect for those who don’t like a lot of individual eyeshadows and prefer an all in one palette. This would be great for travel.

I’m looking forward to trying more products from Laura Mercier during 2017.

Taking a break

I have been lacking in my blog posts of late due to various reasons.

This past week I’ve had the winter bug that has been doing its rounds. So this past weekend I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about myself, what I want from life etc.

My Nanna has always told me to never change, this is something that has been playing on mind this weekend. What would she say if she knew how much I spend on things? I was thinking of something just the other day and it got me thinking about my maternal grandad. My grandad was in the merchant navy, he dressed smartly, grew a lot of his own vegetables and lived a modest life. I was looking at some expensive interior items and I could hear him saying ‘It costs how much?’.  This got me thinking that the things I was looking at weren’t really me, I don’t have that kind of lifestyle.

I remember when our ‘friends’ (I’m using that word loosely) came into money, our car wasn’t good enough for there new estate. Our life was too simple for them (our life was far from simple). I don’t want to be like that.

What I’m saying is ‘never change’ as a person, your values, your passions and your dreams. Be happy being you. Don’t let others sway you. Yes treat yourself to nice things, but don’t let them own you.

Daphne du Maurier – Rebecca

imageI decided to start off my 2017 reading list with Rebecca, after numerous recommendations from my IG friends. This is my first du Maurier book I’ve read and it didn’t disappoint.

Although the first few chapters were slow, I am pleased I persevered with the book. It just took me a while to get fully absorbed into the story. For a female writer, Daphne du Maurier’s writing style is dark. Rebecca has many twists and turns which keeps the reader wanting to turn the page to find out what’s going to happen next. This was evident at the latter stage of the book.

After reading Rebecca, I am looking forward to reading more of Daphne du Maurier. Initially I would have given the book 4/5 but after completing the book and thinking about the writing style, characters and how gripping it was I would now rate it 5/5.

Rebecca has quite a few characters all of whom were believable. The most memorable character for me was Mrs Danver’s.

Reading Goals for 2017

My reading goals for 2017 are

1) To read one book a month and write a review for that book on my blog
2) To not feel guilty if I don’t pick a book up everyday
3) To fully immerse myself in the story
4) To limit the number of books I purchase in 2017 to 10, this doesn’t include gifts or a pack of books (The Bookpeople offers).
5) To only stick to bookstores – Waterstones, Book Depoistory and The Bookpeople to avoid impulse purchases from supermarkets.
6) To read six Christmas themed books starting from the last week of November until the end of December (this is not included in my one book a month challenge)

The books I’d like to read in 2017 are as follows

1) Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (followed by the film)
2) The Inspector and Mrs Jeffries by Emily Brightwell
3) High Rising by Angela Thirkell
4) The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Annim
5) The Crime at Black Dudley by Margery Allingham
6) My Story by Jo Malone
7) The Town in Bloom by Dodie Smith
8) Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell (followed by the BBC adaptation)
9) The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
10) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (followed by the BBC adaptation)
11) A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor
12) Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear

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I would also like to read in 2017
• Wait for me by Deborah Devonshire
• The Light Years by Elizabeth Jane Howard
• Elizabeth Fry by Dennis Bardens
• A Fine Romance by Susan Branch

I have also decided to only keep the books I would re-read again. The books that I’ve read but didn’t love will be donated to my library or charity. What are your reading goals for 2017?

A Book Summary of 2016

I read the grand total of 18 books during 2016, 5 of those were read in December. The books I read were

• Spark a Joy by Marie Kondo 4/5
• Cleaning Hints and Tips by Cindy Harris 2/5
• Dying in the Wool by Frances Brady 3/5
• Period Piece by Gwen Raverat 4/5
• My Life in Houses by Margaret Forster 4/5
• Vintage Chic by Christina Strutt 4/5
• Mary Poppins by P L Travers 5/5
• The Perfect Proposal by Katie Fforde 2/5
•The Double Clue by Agatha Christie 5/5
• The Art of Hygge by Jonny Jackson & Elias Larsen 4/5
• The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking 5/5
• The White Cottage Mystery by Margery Allingham 5/5 re-read
• Christmas from the Heart of the Home by Susan Branch 3/5
• An Edwardian Christmas by John S Goodall 4/5
• Miss Read’s Christmas Book – illustrated by Tracey Williamson 5/5
• The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L Frank Baum 4/5
• A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas 4/5 (read on Christmas Day afternoon)
• The Adventures of The Christmas Pudding by Agatha Christie 5/5

* I was planning on reading more, unfortunately there just weren’t enough hours in the day. I’m disappointed that I didn’t read everything on my list in 2016, which were 37 books.

For Christmas 2016 the books I received from family were

• A child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas
• Tommy & Tuppence complete series by Agatha Christie
• Miss Marple & Mystery – complete short stories by Agatha Christie

Did you manage to read all of the books on your to be read pile during 2016? What was your favourite read/author discovery of 2016?