Summer Candle Favourites

I love to burn candles all year round, and although it may seem strange to burn a candle during an Australian summer it’s usually pretty cold in our house because Sebastian is a huge fan of the ol’ air conditioner. I wanted to share some of my favourite seasonal candles with you, as these little beauties have been staples in my house for quite a few years.

Glasshouse Montego Bay (coconut lime) – This is probably my longest running favourite fragrances, and one that I continue to love years after discovering it. I actually think I started out wearing this as a body moisturiser, but then switched to burning the candles when I knew they were available. Coconut and lime is the quintessential summer fragrance for me, so this is perfect. An OG candle for me.

Glasshouse Kyoto (camellia & lotus) – This is Sebastian’s favourite scent, and he always has one of these candles on his desk in our study, and the throw on this candle even when it’s not burning is strong enough to make the room smell amazing. At first the fragrance of this was a little bit too floral for me, but it’s grown on me and now I really like it.

Glasshouse Galapagos (kaffir lime & cocoa butter) – I asked for this candle for Christmas a couple of years ago, because I smelled it once and instantly fell in love with the fragrance. This is more of a fruity scent so if that’s more your cup of tea than a floral or gourmand, this is worth picking up.

Glasshouse Coney Island (burnt sugar & fig) – If you ever used the Firebird/Flourish perfume oil in Sugar you will love this, because the scent is almost spot on. I want to bathe in the melted wax of this candle, it smells that good. More of a gourmand-y type scent, but still ‘fresh’ enough to be something I burn in the warmer months.

Book Review: Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Book: Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson – audible audiobook edition, 12 hours & 49 minutes.

Synopsis: It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list.

On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?

Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough. Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not? Kiss a stranger? Um…

Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane’s list. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go skinny-dipping? Wait…what?

My thoughts: This was such a fun and summery read, and it was exactly what I was in the mood for when I picked it out from Audible’s library catalog. It gave me flashbacks to the summers of my youth (lol, I’m so old), and the all-consuming feeling of best friendship between teenage girls. I really liked the concept of the story revolving around Emily’s summer to-do list, and I thought the way it all played out was adorable. The build to the romance was believable, and there was no “instalove” which can unfortunately feel quite refreshing in a YA contemporary romance. The friendships that blossom throughout the story were well developed and felt real enough to become invested in as a reader.

There were a couple of things I didn’t like about the story. One in particular was to-do list items that Sloane set as a challenge. It was something that Emily had stood up to and flat-out refused to do in the past. The fact that she then felt obligated to do it because it was part of the list bummed me out a little bit. There were also some plot holes that were left unanswered that I really would have liked to see resolved. I wish Emily had came to more of a realization that Sloane was actually not a very good friend at all, but all of the Sloane-related issues were sort of swept under the rug at the end.

Despite those minor issues, I think if you’re looking for a lighthearted summer read, this is definitely worth checking out.

Rating: 8/10

Book Review: Final Girls by Riley Sager

Book: Final Girls by Riley Sager – kindle edition, 352 pages.

(Advanced Readers Copy)
expected release | June 2017

Synopsis: Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout’s knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media’s attempts, they never meet.

Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.

That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy’s doorstep. Blowing through Quincy’s life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa’s death come to light, Quincy’s life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam’s truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.

My thoughts: This is the kind of book I’ve been looking for since I finished reading ‘You’ by Caroline Kepnes. A psychological thriller that would take me on twists and turns and keep me guessing until the very end. I’d heard good things about this book, and when Tonile from My Cup And Chaucer mentioned it was on Netgalley and available for review, I immediately applied for a copy.

I think with most thrillers knowing less about the story is always more, as you’re able to enjoy the ‘ride’ in an authentic spoiler-free way. With that in mind, I will keep this review short and sweet. I loved the concept of this book, and I loved having the two mysteries playing out alongside each other and coming to a joint conclusion and reveal. I wish there had been more of a push towards the mystery at the start of the book, and that the ending had been a little less rushed and slightly more drawn out; but overall I thought the story as a whole was well executed. It was fast paced throughout the majority of the book, and the flashbacks kept driving me towards the end so I could figure out what the heck had happened. The majority of the characters were unlikable and they make some extremely questionable decisions, but somehow it all still worked for me.

There are a lot of thrillers available on the market at the moment, and this one was unique enough to stand out from the crowd. If you’re looking for an engaging thriller that will keep you guessing right until the end, I highly recommend checking this out when it’s released later in the year.

Rating: 8/10

Summer Skincare Routine

Paula’s Choice Hydralight One-Step Face Cleanser – This will continue to feature as my go-to cleanser in every seasonal skin care routine, until I run out of my slowly dwindling stash. Paula’s Choice have discontinued the Hydralight range, and as you can imagine I am not very happy about it. This is one of the best cleansers I’ve ever used – it keeps my skin clear without feeling like it’s stripping anything away, and works really well with my sensitive skin.

Paula’s Choice Moisture Boost Toner – I decided to switch up my toner to something a little bit more moisturising for summer, and it’s been working wonders. I know the rule of thumb is generally to bump up your moisture in the colder months, but I feel like my skin needs it more in summer. I love this toner, and I can feel how moisturising this is compared to the others I’ve used from the Paula’s Choice range, and it leaves an almost creamy sort of feel to the skin after using it.

Paula’s Choice Hydralight Moisture-Infusion Lotion – Another of my go-to products that I’ll be using until I run out of what I have stashed away, because of course it’s been DISCONTINUED. It’ll be a sad day when I run out of this, because it’s one of my all-time favourite skin care products. It’s the perfect summer moisturiser – lightweight, soothing on the skin, and sinks into the skin well without leaving any sort of residue.

Skinceuticals Clarifying Clay Masque – This is probably the best clay mask I’ve ever used. I know, those are some strong words; but it’s true. It’s so soothing on the skin, and even when it hardens up it really doesn’t feel uncomfortable at all. My face is prone to a bit of redness, especially when I remove a face mask, but for some reason that never happens when I rinse this off. If you’re in the mood to splurge a bit on a lovely face mask, I’d highly recommend this one.

Eve Lom Muslin Cloth – I use this every morning in the shower to remove my cleanser, and find that it’s a really gentle way to exfoliate my skin on a daily basis. To be honest I don’t know if it’s worth buying a brand name muslin cloth, I’m pretty sure you can buy lengths of the material from Spotlight for a whole lot less.

Ren Flash Hydro-Boost – This is something relatively new in my routine, and my skin is really loving it. I try to use this a few times a week when I want to give my skin a bit of an extra hydration boost, and I think it really shows. I’m glad a little bit of this product goes a long way, because it’s not exactly inexpensive. I’m in two minds about whether I will repurchase it, but for now I will just enjoy it.

Product Review – Ren Flash Hydro-Boost

I received a Mecca Voucher from my girlfriends for my birthday last year, and decided to pick up a couple of new things to try. One of which was the Ren Flash Hydro-Boost. I had no idea what to expect with this product, as I did absolutely no research before purchasing it. All I knew was that Ren was a highly recommended brand by many of my favourite beauty lovers, and that I wanted something that could add a little bit of extra hydration to my skin. This product is different from anything I’ve used in the past, in that once you apply it you actually have to dab water onto your face to activate it. It sounds a bit weird, but it really does seem to work. I use this a couple of times a week when I feel like my skin needs a bit of an extra moisture boost, and I honestly think that results are obvious on the day that I use it. My skin somehow looks plumper and my makeup seems to sit a lot nicer on my skin. If you feel like your skin needs a bit of extra hydration this summer, I’d highly recommend picking this up. The Ren Flash Hydro-Boost retails for $64 AUD and is available for purchase from Mecca.