ELF lip lock pencil

Reading / Trying / Watching / Buying

“Hey,  Amber! Where’s your monthly roundup, in which you routinely bore us with news of what you’ve been reading, trying, watching and buying?” I hear you all cry? Well, your wish is my command! This month I’ve been…


We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, By Karen Joy Fowler

The front cover of this book promises a TWIST LIKE YOU WON’T BELIEVE, so I won’t spoil  it by saying too much about the actual plot. What I WILL say is that it’s one of those books which I read in that “just one more chapter” kind of way*: you know, when you KNOW you should really be doing something else, but you keep promising yourself just one more chapter, then maybe another one, until you finally reach the end, and realise the laundry’s still undone, the unanswered emails are piling up, and the dog’s been begging for a walk for the past three hours? It was like that. As well as being a great story, this book was also hugely thought-provoking, and stayed with me for a long time after I’d finished it: definitely recommended.

*It was also one of those books I read standing up, in my dressing room. What do you mean, “no one does that”?


ELF lip lock pencil

e.l.f Lip Lock Pencil 

Quite honestly, I don’t know how I’ve managed to live without this in my life. It’s pretty much the best £1.50 I’ve ever spent, no joke. This is a clear lip liner: now, obviously I was aware that clear lip liners existed, and I was also aware that lots of people recommend them. For some reason, though, I persevered with regular lip liner, which almost always left me looking like I’d allowed Rubin to try to draw a set of lips on me, and which would stick around long after the lipstick it was lining was gone, creating that awful “lip-liner-but-no-lipstick” look. This doesn’t do any of that. You apply it around the lips, and it creates an invisible barrier between lipstick and skin, so you can apply your lipstick without worrying about feathering, and get a perfect line every time. I’ve written before about my issues with my wonky lips, which basically just fade into my face, with no discernible lipline to speak of, and while it would be an exaggeration to say this product has changed my life, this product has totally changed my life, you guys!


Bates Motel

Bates Motel

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a fan of horror movies, and a few years ago , Terry and I binge-watched most of the Hitchcock back catalogue. Psycho isn’t my favourite Hitchcock movie ever (I like Vertigo, although Rear Window is worth watching for Grace Kelly’s outfits alone…), but there’s something spectacularly creepy about roadside motels with psychotic killers for owners, (I mean, don’t you think?), so when Bates Motel (which is set in the current day, and tells the story of young Norman Bates and his not-at-all-crazy mother, moving into a creepy old house with a motel attached to it) came to Netflix, it was a natural choice for us. It’s not the best thing I’ve ever seen, but it did hold my interest, so I’ll no doubt be tuning in for the next season, too. Seriously, though: what were they THINKING buying THAT house? You can yell just by looking at it that No Good Will Come Of It!


mint coat

Outerwear, mostly

My new winter coat is in stock! And, er, so is my new green biker jacket! And also my new BLACK biker jacket! AAAALL the biker jackets, basically!

In my defense:

a)  The black jacket was a gift from Terry, who obviously got sick of hearing me whine about how I needed MOAR biker jackets, MOAR!

b) There is no other defense. It’s indefensible, really. Well, other than that it IS autumn now, and autumn is when you stock up on outerwear, isn’t it? I’ve just gotten myself a head start, is all. Also, I didn’t actually intend to buy a coat until much later in the season, but I noticed this one had started to sell out, and I couldn’t conceive of a winter in which I DIDN’T have a mint green coat to wear (I mean, I didn’t have one last winter, and it was just INTOLERABLE, people…), so I was pretty much forced to buy it. Ahem.

(Aside: I really hate the way the retail pattern forces you to either buy things weeks before you’ll actually need them, or miss out on them altogether. Why can’t we just have summer clothes in summer and winter ones in winter, rather than coats in August and bikinis in January? WHY?)

I realise the fact that I’ve bought. not one, but two biker jackets might come as a surprise to some of you. (The fact that I’ve bought a mint green coat, probably not so much…) They are a bit of a departure from my usual style, admittedly, but I’ve actually wanted one for years now, and think they’re quite classic. I also wanted a jacket I’d be able to wear with my vast selection of full skirts: I find that long or baggy coats can look really frumpy with midis, so I really needed something short and fitted instead. These jackets are exactly the right shape, and I’m really liking the juxtaposition of tough + not-so-tough you get when you combine them with big skirts and dresses, so hopefully my plan will work, and I won’t just look like I’m in fancy dress when I wear them. Time will tell.

And with that little shopping binge, I’m all set for autumn, really. Bring it on…*

*Please don’t.

  • Love the mint coat, of course. I’ve just ordered one from one of those cheap websites, though, so I don’t think I can justify a second.
    Also, with you on the biker jackets thing, I have a grey one from a few years ago which I like with dresses and skirts. LOVE that green one, though.

    September 3, 2014
  • I’ve got that book to read next – I bought it on a recommendation knowing nothing about it whatsoever so I’m really glad you like it – that makes two! Clear lip liner – can I admit with embarrassment that I DIDN’T know it existed… But now I really, really want it!!

    September 3, 2014
  • Jayne


    Ugh. The seasons in the shops are nuts. In Australia they were breathlessly welcoming summer before it was even spring and swimwear has been instore during winter. Pet hate of mine.

    (I live in Melbourne where it does get really hot in summer but the heat is a couple of months away yet, and winters are cold – at least by our standards.)

    September 3, 2014
  • I saw that green River Island jacket the other day….annoyingly it’s now out of stock in my size! Darn! I shall look into the book, sounds intriguing.

    September 3, 2014
  • Indigo


    Oooh! I LOVE that Mint coat! I NEED that coat! The fact that it is a lovely pale color is great because I have two White cats (aside from my two lovely dogs) and dark things are a bit of a problem.
    It’s starting to get cold here and the leaves are beginning to turn…
    Summers are incredibly short here. The snows will start come October…
    So, I NEED THAT COAT!!! Arrrghhh!!!

    September 4, 2014
  • Love your new coat! Colour and design are perfect. I hope I will buy one too in the next time.
    And I also want to watch Bates Motel, but I’m easily scared, so I’m not really sure though haha.

    September 4, 2014
  • I find the retail “seasons” so irritating! I don’t want to buy summer clothes & swimsuits in Jan or coats in August. It just doesn’t feel right!

    I do like your new pale green coat though 🙂

    September 5, 2014
  • I read that book a couple of weeks ago, too – absolutely loved it but can’t think how to write anything about it without spoiling it for everyone else.

    September 5, 2014
  • Stef


    I love that mint coat! It’s not on stock..did you buy them all? Also that lip liner doesn’t seem to ship to uk? How do we try it?

    September 9, 2014