Dream a little Dream - Giovanna Fletcher

I originally started this book as part of my 25 in 25 reading quest, but I didn't finish this one, so it doesn't count. You can find some of the other ones here...

So, it pains me to say, that this is now the third book I started reading, but couldn't quite stomach the whole way through.

Let's start by getting the obvious out of the way, which ironically I didn't know when I ordered it!

Giovanna Fletcher is Tom from McFly's wife - you know, the one with the cute baby video? Yeah, that's her.

Anyway, I didn't know this when it popped up in the side bar on Amazon, otherwise I would have been a bit more skeptical approaching it.

Let's get the actual cover out of the way shall we? Firstly, the capitalisation on the second D annoys me - I'm not sure why it's there - I know most authors go full caps on the covers to avoid this problem. Secondly, the spine. Fletcher is in massive caps, while Giovanna gets tiny print squidged in at the top. If the quick google that shows 'Tom Fletcher's wife's book' didn't drop any hints, this does, which is a shame if the inside cover is to be believed and she was a journalist prior to kids - I can't help but feel this is a) an attempt to piggyback McFly's fame (which is fair enough if you can) or b) a bit sad that she hasn't done it outright in her professional name and carved her own way. Either way, these are only observations made after I attempted to read the book, so are probably a bit too scathing - apologies!

In summary, this book follows Sarah, a PA, who for some unknown reason is friends with her ex of seven years and gets a bit upset when he gets engaged. She makes up a dream relationship with a guy she passed quickly at uni, and then shock horror, this guy appears in real life. 

That's as far as I got, because the book is done in Sarah's POV, and she is incredibly annoying - I just couldn't do that to myself. Most of her life choices are inexplicable, and her thoughts are littered with references to reality TV and current celebrities (including Tom from McFly(!)) that will incredibly age the book, and go over the heads of anyone who doesn't watch those shows (me included.) (Also, the 'dream' sections in the book are written in italics, which is super annoying.)

In short, this book was far too ditsy for me and I really didn't like it, which is a shame, as I usually quite enjoy a quick chick flick. 

Anyway, onwards and upwards eh? I may scout out another of her books and see if it wasn't just bad luck with this one.

Have you read this? What did you think? Tweet me!

Make your own patch jacket

Patch jackets. I've seemed to have started seeing them everywhere, and I'm slightly obessessed. I got a beautiful bomber from Zara with some embroidery (see here) and I've wanted patches and designs ever since.

Obviously being me, the ever-ambitious crafter, I decided to attempt one myself and collected a variety of patches from eBay and other places. I used this khaki denim jacket from Topshop which I actually only bought last month, but which I've gone off slightly since I bought it - makes me look a bit awful...

You will need:
An iron
Assorted patches
A plain jacket

Step 1) Collect your patches and jacket - these are mine! Most are from eBay from China, but the guy with the pencils is from my Papergang box, and the deer and small butterfly are from Sass and Belle.

Step 2) Decide on your arrangement and iron on! I used a high heat, no steam for about 30 seconds on the patch until secure...aaaaand you're done! I wouldn't tumble dry it or anything but now you've got a brighter, more fun jacket.

The back....(oopsie iron marks - always use an ironing board!)

Tada! A super easy way to upgrade a plain old jacket.

I'm definitely going to be adding to this over time - here are some patches I have my eye on from some small businesses:

Tweet me yours if you try it!

The Watchers - Neil Spring

The Watchers by Neil Spring

I was completely blown away by this book - it was nothing like what I expected!

 I picked up the Watchers by Neil Spring, not really knowing what to expect but thinking it would be about spies or something due to the Ministry of Defence on the blurb. I was wrong. It is one of the darkest books I have read in a while, and really kept me on my toes - everytime I had a theory about what was going on, I was proved wrong and was left completely thrown by the ending.

(I read this as part of my 50 before 25 quest - see the others here...)

This book blends fact with fiction, and left me questioning the things I thought I knew! It has both sci fi and supernatural undertones, both fighting it out within the book, keeping you guessing the whole way - I'll definitely check out more of Neil Spring's work - it's not often I'm left this captivated and unbalanced by a book!

This book follows Robert Wilding as he explores strange goings on in his childhood village, that people think are connected to aliens, or maybe a strange cult. Weirder yet, the government are interested, and may involve the US airforce...

There's plenty of death, creepiness, supernatural goings on, aliens, and Thatcher in this book to keep me stunned for a while yet.

Can you tell I don't quite know how to explain it? All I can say is it is extremely well written, and you won't regret reading it! It's a bit of a long one, so make sure you set aside enough time as you won't want to put it down...

Have you read this? What did you think? Tweet me!

Focus on Makers: Elle from Nutmeg and Arlo

Welcome to the first in a new series of blog posts where I focus on my favourite small independent makers!

Let's kick this off with Elle from Nutmeg and Arlo, where I got my super cute narwharl pin from! (I'm still stuck on a name for him- any ideas?!)

After buying my narwharl, I caught up with Elle to get a bit more info about her lovely little shop...

1) Tell me a little bit about Nutmeg and Arlo - how would you summarise your brand/what's your motto?

My brand is totally cute and full of pastels, and I would say that my motto in life is a perfect one from Lemony Snicket - "If we wait until we're ready, we'll be waiting for the rest of our lives." 

2) How did you get started? What inspired you?

Nutmeg and Arlo was started because I have a love of stationery and cute things! I don't really have any hobbies and I have a background in design, so I wanted to do something after work on an evening that didn't include sitting on the sofa watching TV. So I started Nutmeg and Arlo! 

3) What's your favourite item in your shop?

My favourite item from my shop is probably Mr Narwhal because he is what helped me gain popularity! However, I do have a secret soft spot for my Tormund Heart pin - just because I LOVE Game of Thrones and love Tormund. 

4) What advice would you give to people out there with their own crafty ideas?

My advice to people getting started - create what you love. Don't be afraid to fail! It's a cliche but it's so true that it's better to fail than to not try at all. If anyone wants any advice then I love to chat and help people out, feel free to drop me an email :) 

5) Who are your top three other makers?

My three favourite makers... This is a hard one, it changes all the time. I find it difficult to pick favourites! At the moment I LOVE Wink Pins, Rosebud Casson and Fairy Cakes

You can find out more and Nutmeg and Arlo here:

I'd love to see if you add anything from this super cute shop to your collection - I'm currently eyeing up this fox pin! Tweet me if you do!

Wishlist - Autumn/Winter

Ahhhh, summer is quite obviously over isn't it? I think we had about three days of sun, all of which I happened to be locked inside studying for exams for...oh well - I've got to admit, I much prefer autumn/winter clothes anyway!

On that note, and to celebrate my promotion at work, I've pulled together a bit of a A/W wishlist - you may notice it's a bit...well, black. I've decided to just buy high quality staple items from now on to build my wardrobe and try and save space. Plus, if I keep to it, I might not fritter away anyway spare penny I have in Primark....

Olivia Burton watch - how gorgeous is this?! They also do it with rose gold detailing and I just can't decide between the two!

Mac Mineralize Skinfinish - because I'm FOREVER running out of this stuff. I don't really use foundation anymore, so this really is the only thing protecting people from my bare face.

Leather biker jacket - I'm eyeing up one from River Island at the moment. I've had so many faux ones over the years, and they just don't last.

Black Skinnies - I've got my eye on these Topshop ones since my old ones were involved in a puppy incident and are now a bit holey.

Biker boots and wellies - I actually don't think I've got any boots left that survived last winter. That needs to be rectified - I'll probably grab some from Jones as they're known for quality. 

Oasis V&A dress - I've seen this dress in pretty much EVERY fashion magazine and have fallen in love. It's £150 though so it might go unfulfilled. The entire collection is beautiful!

What have you got your eye on at the moment? Tweet me!

Burnt Paper Sky - Gilly Macmillan

I picked this up on Amazon to help my hit my target  when I was in a bit a of thiller/mystery/twisty crime phase. (See here for my others)

Burnt Paper Sky is Gilly Macmillan's first book, and a shame as it's a cracking one at that and I'd love to read more of her stuff! Alas, I'll have to wait.

This is actually a fairly long book so it took me a couple of days to read - and I'm talking 'intensive, page turning, don't want to put it down' kind of days. It's really good!

The story focuses around Rachel, a recently divorced photographer, and is written from her perspective. At the very start of the book, Rachel lets Ben, her 8 year old son, run ahead whilst she is on her phone, and he doesn't come back. What follows next is the hunt for Ben and his abductor, as it soon becomes clear from some pretty nasty events that someone has taken him - but who? His dad, the surgeon? His new step mom? The creepy teaching assistant? Someone who wants to hurt his dad?

This book keeps you guessing the entire way - is Ben alive? Who has him? It's littered with clues that I didn't piece together at all, but I am overall happy with the resolution of the book - it's not one of those where the narrator actually lies to you throughout (I'm looking at you, Moriarty...)

It kept me engaged the whole way through and is easy to read - I think the reviews on the cover sum it up well when they say it is 'Deceptively clever' and 'Utterly gripping'.

Overall, if you're into the twisty-thriller type books that are around at the moment, I'd definitely give this one a try!

Have you read it? What did you think? Tweet me!