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10 books to put on your summer reading list.

Hey guys and happy Friday. I am currently sunning myself up in Crete enjoying my first summer of freedom from academia. This can only mean one thing… I can finally start reading for fun again! Doing a degree in history has meant that over the past 3 years I have read a lot but, as gripping as The Communist Manifesto is, I have had very little time to read for enjoyment. As a kid reading was one of my favourite things and I could easily get through 2 books a week. Over the past 3 years, however, I am lucky if I have been able to get through 2 books a month – if that! Terrible, I know. Anyway, I have made it my mission this summer to get back into reading so I thought I would share with you guys 10 books that have made it onto my summer reading list and should definitely be on yours as well. 

10 Books to put on your Summer Reading List 

1. ‘Everything I Know About Love’ by Dolly Alderton
If you read last weeks blog post you’ll know that I have had this book on my reading list for some time. A memoir from The Sunday Times’ former dating columnist, ‘Everything I Know About Love’ covers Alderton’s experiences of relationships – the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s meant to be a super inspirational read that tells a story of self love and confidence.
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2.‘Lullaby’ by Leïla Slimani

This book was recommended in Cosmopolitan’s Best Summer Reads for 2018 and sounds like it is going to be right up my street. It tells the story of Myriam and Paul who find Louise to au pair their two young children in their chic apartment. The relationship takes a turn for the worse and jealously, resentment and suspicion starts to emerge. I’m thinking murder, affairs and other juicy stuff that will make for a great read.

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3. ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ by Gail Honeyman

I’ll be honest, this is not necessarily a book I would normally go for but I have seen so many bloggers sing its praises that I thought it would be rude not to give it a shot. It tells the story of the life of Eleanor Oliphant. It’s won a lot of awards and is apparently soon going to be on the big screens under direction of Reece Witherspoon so it definitely earns a spot on the list.

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4. ‘Me Before You’ by JoJo Moyes  

I know, I know, this is not a new book but I have heard this is a fantastic read and Moyes has recently brought out a third instalment to the series, which also looks fantastic. My Mum isn’t a huge reader but she read this and adored it so it must be good. I don’t usually like watching the film before I read the book but I adored this film and really want to give this book a go. Don’t worry, I’ll have the tissues ready!

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5.‘The Outsider’ by Stephen King
I absolutely love Stephen King as a writer and definitely want to give this new one a go (although it might not make for good bedtime reading). This book follows the story of a man defending his innocence against evidence that he has assaulted and murdered a young boy. Apparently the book is full of nods to current events and the ever growing conversation surrounding abuse, consent and the Black Lives Matter movement.
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6. ‘The Woman in the Window’ by A. J. Finn

This book is giving me some serious ‘A Girl on the Train’ vibes and I loved that book! Following the life of Anna Fox who hasn’t left her house in 10 months and watches the world go by from the window of her New York town house (house envy, right?). When the Russell’s move in next door, she begins assessing and observing them, and one evening witnesses something no one was suppose to see… Sounds good doesn’t it?

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7. ‘The Mars Room’ by Rachel Kushner

Rachel Kushner has a very impressive resume, been nominated for the National Book Award Twice (keep in mind she has garnered this after only publishing two books – pretty good right?). 2 nominations can’t be wrong so I have decided that ‘The Mars Room’ deserves a spot in my top 10. The book tells the story of a mother serving two life sentences for the murder of her stalker, which sounds like a pretty good read to me!

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8. ‘The Vogue Factor’ by Kirstie Clements

I have actually read this book already, however, I had to mention it because I really think it deserves a spot on your summer reading list! Ex-Editor of Vogue Australia writes about her experience in the world of high fashion and magazine journalism. It is super honest, witty and inspiring, raising a lot of issues with the industry and well as the incredible opportunities that come with it. I would seriously recommend giving it a go.

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9. ‘The Perfect Stranger’ by Megan Miranda

Another mystery book, ‘The Perfect Stranger’ tells to story of old friends Leah and Emmy who move to Pennsylvania for a fresh start. When a women with a freakish resemblance to Leah is assault and Emmy disappears, Leah joins forces with Detective Kyle Donovan (potential or a bit of romance?) to investigate Emmy’s life.

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10. ‘Emma in the Night’ by Wendy Walker

Just in case it hasn’t been made obvious so far, I like a good mystery book. ‘Emma in the Night’ tells the story of two sisters who goes missing. One returns, one does not until 3 years later. Her story is meant to be pretty shocking and full of drama. I’m intrigued…

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So there you go, 10 books that are on my summer reading list and I think you need on yours. Let me know your recommendations and what you think of these if you give any of them a go. If you want some more suggestions I would recommend visiting some of these links – they have loads of fab suggestions whatever you fancy!

‘Best New Books for Summer 2018’ – Cosmopolitan

’20 Smart Books You Will Want to Read at the Beach’ – Esquire

’25 Best Books For Summer 2018′ – Good Housekeeping

’10 Best New Novels for 2018′ – The Independent 

Happy reading guys and gals. 

Jamie x 

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My Holiday Essentials.

Happy Friday guys and gals! As you read this post I am likely to be last minute panic packing ready for my holiday next week. Myself and my lovely in laws (and Conor, of course) will very shortly be sunning ourselves up in a private villa in Crete. I thought I would share with you guys some of my holiday essentials in the hope that this post will prevent me from leaving anything sitting on my bedside table. So without further ado, here are the things that will definitely be making it into my summer holiday suitcase (fingers crossed…) 

Hand Luggage

So Crete is not too far away but that does not mean that my hand luggage does not have to be thought through. Apart from the obvious travel documents, there are some bits and bobs that I simply cannot be separated with (even if I am 7.5 miles up in the air). 

Carmex Pineapple and Mint (£2.79 from Superdrug)

I cannot possibly be without a lip balm and this is my new summer favourite! When it comes to lip balms nothing quite compares with Carmex – I have been using it for years. They have recently come out with a load of new flavours and I was gifted the pineapple and mint in my Cosmopolitan Self Made goodie bag. Since then I have gone through another 2 tubes of these and I love it. It’s the best flavour and super light and summery. It’s a little thinner in consistency to other Carmex products so it is perfect for warmer weather and it is super moisturising and SPF 15. This will definitely be in my hand luggage.

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Bourjois Healthy Mix Pressed Face Powder (£9.99 from Boots) 

This is not the first time this powder has been mentioned on my blog. You might remember it featured a few months back in my post on skin care and my go to products when it came to helping with breakouts and I still love this product! It is such a fresh, light powder that really helps even out my skin tone. Since getting it it has not left my bag and I often use it to touch up my make up throughout the day. It comes with a little mirror and an applicator so you literally just need the compact and you’re good to go.

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‘Everything I know about Love’ by Dolly Alderton (£6.49 from Amazon) 

There are so many books that I want to read this summer but this one has really caught my eye and I think will make for great plane entertainment, not to mention chilling by the side of the pool! Recommended by Cosmopolitan, ‘Everything I know about love’ is a memoir from Dolly Alderton who is a former dating columnist for The Sunday Times. Alderton covers her life of relationships – the good, the bad and the ugly. It looks like a fab read with a really inspiring message about self love and being confident in your own skin – always an important message.

(Stay tuned for next weeks post for a full list of my summer reading goals)

 

Fashion

Zara Straw Bag with Rounded Handles (£29.99 from Zara) 

Straw bags have been making an appearance on the high street for a few months now and what better time to get on the trend then when you’re heading off on holiday? I have done a bit of browsing and this Zara Straw Bag is my favourite! It’s not the most affordable on the market but it’s super cute and the perfect size to take you from the beach to the cocktail bars in the evening. I have also been using this at home as well so I will definitely get a lot of use out of it. If you’re looking for something a little bigger or something that you can close, which is a slight downfall of this bag, Zara have loads of different styles so have a browse!

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Mix and Match Tropical/Orange Bikini (from £16 from MissGuided)

I have had a lot of problems trying to find an appropriate bikini to wear on a holiday with the in laws. Love Island has been giving me some serious swimwear envy and MissGuided have provided the goods when it comes to Love Island inspired costumes. Unfortunately finding high-waisted bottoms that are not going to be flashing my arse off to everyone I come into contact with has been a serious challenge. These mix and match sets, however, come in loads of different styles and really cute patterns. I’ve picked up this tropical set and the juicy orange set, which is such a gorgeous colour and is super in style at the moment. They also have a lovely pastel blue, white, red and loads others! I would definitely recommend taking a look.

Fancy getting your hands on one of these Love Island style bikinis (or anything from MissGuided at all) then use this link and you can save yourself £5 if you click referred by a friend!

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Black Maxi Belted Beach Kimono (£20 from Pretty Little Thing)

After seeing Olivia Buckland’s Instagram post of this gorgeous rose gold, sequinned kimono I knew I wanted one. I searched and managed to find her kimono on MissGuided. Slight problem… it’s £200. Sadly I am not an Instagram/reality show sensation and so £200 for a kimono was a little steep. I did, however, find some cheaper alternatives and this one from Pretty Little Thing is about as close as you’re going to get to Olivia’s. It comes in at £30 so it’s a hell of a lot cheaper. I actually ended up picking myself up this one from Pretty Little Thing. Even though it’s not quite what I was looking for, it’s super simply and easy to wear. Plus, at £20 I don’t mind getting it messy on the beach!

Beauty

When I’m on holiday I try to wear as little make up as possible, but I still like to get dolled up for nights out and fancy meals.

Sleek MakeUP Face Form in Medium (£9.99 from FeelUnique)

This is my go to contour palette. It comes with a matte contour, which is the perfect shade and super easy to blend. There is also a slightly glittery bronzer that I absolutely love when I have a bit of a tan. It is super natural but easy to build and gives your face a gorgeous glow. I also sometimes use this colour as an eye shadow if I am going for a warm, natural make up look. The middle powder is a highlight, which surprise surprise I also love! It gives you the most beautiful sheen without being glittery and rather than sitting on top of the skin almost blends to become part of it, giving the most naturally gorgeous glow. I use this palette every single day when I am home and I would not be without it on holiday. It is super sleek and so takes up hardly any room in your case and can create a variety of different beautiful looks.

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Banana Boat Kids Ultra Mist Advance Protection, Factor 50 (£6.99 from Chemist Direct)

It wouldn’t be a holiday essentials post without a suncream and this one is my favourite. I am really pale and suffer terribly with heat rash but I also hate suncream. I always wear it, without a doubt, but I cannot stand the feel on my skin. This suncream on the other hand is the more refreshing mist, smells amazing and gives fantastic protection. It is super easy to apply and does not feel sticky or greasy at all (even on my face). It helps to control my heat rash and I have never been burnt using this. The only slight problem is that because it is a spray it does not last for ages so make sure you stock up on a few bottles because you will probably run out.

LUSH American Cream Conditioner (from £5.75 from LUSH)

My hair always needs extra care when I go away. The mixture of heat, sweat and sea water does nothing for keeping my hair smooth and soft and so I always make sure I have a deep conditioner packed. American Cream from LUSH is great! It smells like a delicious strawberry milkshake and has honey water within it, which it super nourishing. I usually use this every other day on holiday and it really helps keep my hair in good condition. If you are looking for a lightweight, less moisturising conditioner than maybe go for Happy Happy Joy Joy over this or if your hair is super damaged, LUSH do a fab hot oil treatment I would recommend giving a go. LUSH have loads of different conditioners so check out their blog on ‘How to choose the perfect hair conditioner’ for your hair type. They can be a little expensive but they’re so worth it!

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So there you have it, some of my holiday essentials that I will be packing and taking to Crete with me! Where are you guys heading off to this year and what bits and bobs will definitely be in your case? 

Jamie x 

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