Forever Amber July Roundup

Reading / Trying / Watching / Buying

Forever Amber July Roundup

I know I’m a little early with this monthly roundup, and I also know it’s a giant cliché to be all astonishment at the normal passing of time, but I can’t believe it’s been (almost) a month since I last did one of these. Other things I can’t believe: the fact that I’ve kept a monthly series going for a full three months without getting bored or giving up on it: go me!  (I mean, I’M not bored: I dunno about you guys…)

Sunny weather and lots of adventures have made July my favourite month of the year so far. In between all of those adventures, though, here’s what I’ve been…


The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

The Husband’s Secret, by Liane Moriarty

First of all, I don’t want anyone to be too concerned by the extraordinary front-cover claim that this book is “literally” unputdownable, because folks, it LITERALLY isn’t. Which was a relief, because how on earth would I have done all of my important blogging if I had to carry this book around with me all the time, huh? Well, I’m happy to report that while I DID manage to put this down (like, to use the bathroom, and eat and stuff?), I didn’t really want to, because it’s a great read. For once, this isn’t one of my “mysterious old house in the woods has a devastating secret” stories: there ARE, however, plenty of secrets to be uncovered (I hope it’s not too much of a spoiler to reveal that one of them is the HUSBAND’S. Duh-duh-DUUUUH!), in a story which follows the lives of a group of separate-but-connected characters. Oh, and it’s set in Australia, which made for a nice change from the usual English country houses I normally inhabit in my reading life.


hair extensions for red hair

Irresistible Me Hair Extensions

I haven’t been so much TRYING these hair extensions (Which, full disclosure, were a gift from the company…) as I’ve been… TRYING to try them, if that makes sense? As you may or may not be able to tell from the photo, they’re quite a bit darker than my own hair, and I’m not into the ombre look, so I’ve yet to actually wear them. The good news is that, as these are human hair (which yes, I know, a bit creepy, isn’t it?), they can be dyed to change the colour. The company who sent them have been really helpful about this, but as my only experience with hair dye so far was that one time I turned my head orange, I’m a bit of a hair dye novice. A BIG bit of a hair dye novice.  As I said, the extensions are darker than my natural colour, so my understanding is that I can’t just whack a lighter colour on top without removing some of the existing colour first. (Er, I think that’s right?) From looking at them, though, I don’t think the colour is a natural one, so I suspect they’ve been dyed before: my tentative plan, then, is to buy some Colour B4, and try that first to find out What Lies Beneath. With a bit of luck, it’ll be something closer to my own colour, and I’ll be able to proceed with the ‘Game of Thrones’ look I’m after, but if not, hopefully it’ll be light enough to THEN add dye. I have precisely no clue what I’m doing here, though, so if anyone has any advice for me, I’m happy to hear it!


Rubin relaxing in front of the TV

Black Mirror

Black Mirror is a British series created by Charlie Brooker, and with only four episodes per season. Each episode has a different cast, and a totally different plot, but they’re all set in an unspecified, but not-too-distant future, and basically show us where our reality-TV and technology-obsessed culture could eventually lead us. The episodes are dark, twisted, and often quite disturbing, but they’re also fascinating, and the kind of stories you find yourself thinking about for a long while afterwards, and discussing endlessly. Rubin, as you can see, was less impressed by them…


Clothes hangers, mostly

coathangers. Lots and lots of coathangers

OK, I REALLY mostly bought beauty products this month, but I’ve talked about that already, so let the record show that I also bought a bunch of these guys. When we finished stage one of my dressing room last year, I quickly realised that if I wanted it to be pretty as well as functional, I’d have to upgrade my motley collection of hangers to ones which were all the same style. I already had tons of these wooden ones (just not enough of them to hold absolutely everything!), so it made sense to just get some more of them, rather than replacing the whole lot with a different style. In retrospect, I really wish I’d started out with flocked hangers rather than wooden ones, purely because they take up less space, but the thought (and expense!) of starting from scratch was just too much, so I’ve just continued with these. I needed a LOT of them, though (I previously had at least 50% of my clothes in storage at any given time, because I didn’t have the closet space to have everything out, and I also had a lot of stuff folded, which I now have hanging – I’d seriously hang EVERYTHING up if I could: it just makes it so much easier to access everything, and also means the clothes don’t get creased from being folded up all the time), and I was much too cheap to spend a small fortune on CLOTHES HANGERS in one go, so the plan was to buy a few each month, until I was done.

Of course, because I am me, it was just too tempting to buy clothes instead of hangers, so that didn’t really happen, and it’s only now that I’ve really started to tackle it again. After this purchase I have a lot of my clothes, including all of my dresses, on these wooden hangers, but I’ll probably switch to flocked ones for the rest – assuming, of course, that I can track down some white ones, because NO OTHER COLOUR WILL DO.  (I wanted white wooden ones too, but couldn’t justify the cost of replacing the existing ones. I would have EVERYTHING white if I could, though. I would live in a completely white house, with white furniture, and white clothes,  and yes, it would be impossible to keep clean, but I would like it. For the first few hours, anyway.)

And that was my July. How was yours?


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  • You can take your extensions to a salon and have them professionally dyed if you’re too worried you’ll mess them up. And that show sounds really interesting.
    Fashion and Happy Things

    July 28, 2014
  • I am in the process of replacing all my mangy hangers with wooden versions too.

    July 29, 2014
  • Black Mirror is AMAZING. That is all.

    July 30, 2014
  • Juliette


    I’ve seen some Black Mirror! It was TOO good and I stopped watching because it was so intense! I think get the extensions dyed at a salon.

    July 30, 2014
  • wendy


    For lovely padded cream (almost white!) coat hangers try Morplan. They sell to retail mainly so their web prices don’t include VAT. However I bought 50 last year and am delighted with them. They are a proper size (not too short like many you see offered) and have buttons on so it stops slippage and you can use them to hang skirts effectively too. Be aware that because of their paddingness (why yes, that is a word!) you can fit less items per rail but it is worth it for non marked/bulging shoulders on clothes. I’d never go back. I use wooden hangers for trousers & can at last happily say I have no plastic or, dog forbid, wire in my wardrobes:-)

    July 31, 2014
  • That sounds like an interesting read, and I really enjoyed watching Black Mirror too! Eventually, I’d like to replace all of my hangers with the space-saving flock ones as well. xxx

    August 12, 2014
  • My boyfriend is OBSESSED with Black Mirror. You should have seen the freakout he had when he found out they renewed it for another season. It’s “weirdness” is so thought-provoking, isn’t it?


    August 16, 2014
  • Ada


    You can try washing them with dandruff shampoo, really rubbing the strands between your hands until they are really ‘foamy’ then shoot hot air from hair dryer for a couple minutes then rubbing again (add more water/shampoo if needed) this is called a shampoo train (you can google it for more instructions) and it’s the mildest (and cheapest) way to remove color (it can be a little drying so you might ned to condition the extensions afterwards). Red fades pretty easily anyway so this might do the trick. I’ve been dying extensions and my own hair for years, in every colour imaginable. I even had a set of extensions that I purchased platinum blonde and then dyed pink, then blonde, then purple, then copper then brown and wore for about 6 years (they might even be somewhere in a closet or something).

    August 17, 2014