Thursday, 2 October 2014

'Me Without You' by Kelly Rimmer* - Book club review

It's time for another Bahlsen Book club book review post - I wanted to get this one written up quickly because I didn't want to risk loosing any of the incredibly strong emotions that this book evoked for me. I really was amazed by this story, it was beautiful in so many ways but also utterly tragic and also happy. Yup, a couple of contradictions in there, but that's how most books should be; if they were all one dimensional we'd not love them like we do.

Kelly Rimmer's 'Me Without You'* is, essentially, a love story. It tells the tale of Callum Roberts and the dirty footed woman he meets on the ferry home, one day; Lilah. There's no preamble to this book, we go straight to Callum and his first interaction with Lilah when he's disgusted by her filthy feet but looks up to find that they belong to a captivating lady.

'Me Without You' is written beautifully, you'll never get stuck on any awkward grammar, you are always, totally immersed by the story which is, in part, due to the story and in part due to the stunning writing. You're told the story from differing points of view; sometimes Callum, sometimes by Lilah - The chapters really belong to each of the characters, they work perfectly to allow you insight in to each of their worlds and it's told so well that each of their personalities shines through.

I started reading the book on an afternoon and it was, instantly, captivating. The love story is beautiful, it's heady and a real whirlwind but behind all of that you can tell there's something else - There's something hidden and untold and as the story plays out you begin to understand why, and what it is that's happening.

If you've read my reviews before you'll know I don't like giving away the plot and it's going to be no exception this time. What I will tell you, though, is that following the afternoon I started reading this I was up until 3am because I couldn't put it down. The story is simple but it's utterly compelling and you just have to find out what's going to happen, and sometimes it's not even about what's going to happen but how, and why; it's just about how it's written and how you can't stop until you know it's the end and there's no more to hear.

This book made me cry, it made me cry more than any book ever has. Of course I'm not going to tell you if it was happy tears or sad (I am prone to bouts of both if something is evocative enough) but I will tell you I cried a lot. This book got under my skin and I think it'd be the same for many other people - You don't need to like romance books, you just need to want to read books that are about people, that have simple but incredibly important stories.

You'll know from the outset that Lilah's hiding something and you'll have your suspicions, very early on, about what it is. But that doesn't matter, in this story, it's not about guessing the end it's just about getting there and sharing this journey with these two wonderful characters. If you want to read it (I would recommend this book to almost anyone) then it's available here:

I'd love to know what you think if you've read this book, if you haven't then please come back and tell me if you do. 

To keep up-to-date don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin and Twitter @petitmoi_bigworld

I was sent this book for review purposes, but my opinions and ideas are totally honest and true*

Mini Primark Haul - September / October 2014

I bought these things in September but I've had someone check and, at least, the waterproofs are still available in some stores so I've listed it as October in the title because people search for these posts to see what's available in a month and they're still available this month.

It's only a little haul, they didn't have Exactly what I wanted but I really needed a variation of it so thankfully they had something I quite liked even though my favourite one was gone.

This is the item that I went in for - I wanted the green/pink floral one that I'd seen a few weeks previously but that wasn't available anymore but thankfully this polka dot and floral one was still there. I don't like it As much but it's a necessity at the moment. I quite like that these are a 'parka in a pocket' - Mac style ones are fine but I much prefer the parka style and the fact that it folds in to the pocket rather than having a bag I'm just going to keep losing lol. It is quite big when folded up but I guess that's what happens when it's a different style. It's just so easy to keep a waterproof in my bag rather than needing a big coat. This was £9.

I've wanted a cardigan for a while, just something lighter weight. I have heavier weight cardigans and lighter weight jumpers but you don't always want a full jumper - I like just putting this on over a tshirt to keep a little warmer but not be too hot. 

There was some beautiful knitwear available but this one was from one of their basic ranges, it was only £6 but I love the shape, the softness and the simplicity of it. That said, it's not overly simplistic, little details like this mother of pearl style buttons just give it a  beautiful extra dimension. I've worn this loads since I got it and, although it's not been checked like the waterproof, I think these will probably still be available what with them being in one of their basic ranges - This came in loads of different colours, too.

The last item (yes it really is mini) was a spur of the moment item due to them placing things well at the tills. I saw this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles dvd as I was queuing and just had to get it for Ethan for Christmas. It's only got 3 episodes but it's from the original tv series and he prefers watching the same episodes over again if he likes something anyway - For £3 a rather great buy to put aside for the festive times. I often check out their dvds as a lot of them aren't very cheap but sometimes you see little gems like this one.

So that's my, very, mini haul - I really want to go back to primark to see if they still have a fairisle cardigan I made myself not buy but it's probably already gone and I have no idea when I next get to town. I do love a good primark shop, though, even if I have to be super well behaved like I was on this trip.

To keep up-to-date don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin and Twitter @petitmoi_bigworld

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

My Autumn/Winter look with Kaliko*

When I was asked to make a wishlist of items from the Kaliko range it took a long, long time. Was it because it was hard to find things I liked? Not a chance, it was SO difficult to whittle down the items to a sensible list - I could, honestly, have sent them links to more than half of the A/W range, there's so many beautiful items available this season. One of the items I have isn't in the 'new in' section any more but there's SO many beautiful things in that section as well as listed in the normal sections.

Yeah I'm even a bit in love with the label - They get it Just right. 
The items which I was most drawn to are the tops, dresses and accessories - Lace and floral are overriding themes and both lace and floral are the things which I've been quite crazy for for some time now (yes you can be sure I'm thrilled now that both of them are so widely available now!) It's quite fitting that those are the sections that I was most drawn to as I was sent the 'Blurred Floral Blouse' (£69) which just straddles the line between top and dress, and the gorgeous 'Beaded Grey Scarf' (£39) which was my favourite new in item in the accessories section. My gosh just scrolling through, again, I'm falling in love with so many items - Thankfully I also love the items I was sent and have managed to put together two of my absolute favourite outfits; one a little more dressed up and one a little more dressed down.

As you can see, the top is Just about long enough to pass for a dress - For the above photo (rubbish door background again, sorry!) I paired it up with some wine coloured tights and my favourite Gabor ankle boots - I think these really lend themselves to tights/leggings and dresses due to the fold at the top, I really like the way it looks for this sort of outfit. As well as that I added my simulated diamond necklace, my owl clock necklace, some pearl like beads and my beloved Olivia Burton watch (from TimeByMe)

When I first saw a picture of this (here) I thought that it was a light cotton fabric but it turns out it's, actually, a light and floaty fabric (thankfully fully lined) which just makes me want to go 'swish swish' - I am fully aware that I look nutty as a fruit cake here but it perfectly encapsulates how lovely and comfortable this top is, it really feels like air. It has a really good quality zip in the back which means it's nice and easy to get it on and off too (always an issue for me)

The beaded scarf works in a couple of different ways and seeing as this was my more dressed up outfit I thought that the scarf would work really nicely as more of a shawl than a scarf - It looks lovely draped over the shoulders or gathered up more like a scarf but hung over the shoulders too. Scarves like this have a very sheer fabric but are surprisingly warm - They're perfect when it's not quite cool enough for a knitted scarf but it's too cold for nothing. As a shawl this would add even more warmth. Another way in which I'd adapt this outfit as it got cooler is that I would wear my fleece lined, wine coloured tights rather than this more sheer ones, another good way to add extra warmth but maintain the look.

Yep, I'll give you the chance to get over the shock of a shot with me looking at the camera... ready?
This is the other outfit I put together with the top - I thought that jeggings would be a great way of dressing it down a little and also added warmth for the cooler weather. I've got the same accessories, and my boots would've got equally as well but I thought that my white, lace pumps went nicely in a casual but pretty way.

And, quickly, back to floor gazing to prove that I actually recommend wearing this scarf as a scarf too! I think it goes really nicely with the look in both a more dressed up and dressed down way - In fact just look at it, this scarf will go with almost anything. That said, so will the top - Although they scream autumn to me, right now, I think they'd both work for s/s, too, as long as they were paired up with the right things.

The last thing I wanted to show you was the detailing on the scarf. I knew it was beaded but once it arrived it proved to be even better than I expected - Each of the outer thirds of the scarf has lighter, sporadic beading but then it builds up, culminating in a heavy amount of beading in a bottom corner which just gives it a really nice weight and helps it hang nicely. I'm a bit precious about my new, favourite scarf - I won't put it down on the coffee table in case anything gets dropped on it or it gets scuffed, it has to be kept very carefully because I love it so much, but I'm sure you can understand why.

I'm definitely having a bit of a love affair with Kaliko (sorry Azii) - It's a shop I've always seen on the high st and known about online but never taken a closer look; if you're the same I urge you to take a closer look as I think you might fall for the beautiful fabrics, gorgeous prints and simple but stylish designs.

To keep up-to-date don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin and Twitter @petitmoi_bigworld

*I was sent these items for review but all opinions are my own - I actually wish I could wear my top and scarf every day, they're that beautiful*

Monday, 29 September 2014

Planning ahead... a little too much! My 'Busy B - Busy Life Diary' for 2015

Alright so we're about to hop in to October, we're a long way from the end of the year still (at least I like to think so anyway!) so planning for 2015 is just a little bit premature. But the thing is, I like planning, and that's why I decided I wanted a diary.

It all started when I saw someone post, on Instagram, about a gorgeous academic diary which they'd just got - I like attractive stationery, I Really do and so this prompted me to look at some academic diaries myself. I normally just write lists and then appointments go on my phone but I felt that I was missing out on somewhere to write down When I planned on my posts going live, and it all being in order when I looked at that week view.

Problem was, I just didn't fall in love with any of them. There was lots of basic, simple looking academic diaries and there was lots of Really nice ones but none of them had the right mix of looking pretty and having a good layout inside. There was one I loved but the postage made it far too expensive.

In steps the compromise.

I bought a Tiny little pocket diary for £1.14 which will last me until the end of the year and then I bought a 2015, full year, diary which I absolutely fell in love with!

I've found the pocket diary invaluable, even though it's tiny, because it just helps so much to have my plans laid out in front of me rather than squished in to lists. It doesn't have tonnes of space but I can put in enough for blog post schedules as well as any appointments or important dates for Ethan's school.

The diary I opted for is from a company called Busy B - I ordered the diary from Amazon because I'm so used to it being cheaper on there but I wish I had checked their site first because they had some great bundles of products for a really reasonable price and all of their products are really interesting and have some great features.

I fell in love with the diary, first, because of the adorable bird pattern but it's when I found out how it was laid out inside that I realised it was Perfect.

The reason it's called the 'Busy Life Diary' is because for each week it has two pages and at the top of each page it has a space for you to write what that page is for. They suggest that you can have one page for family and one for work but for us bloggers it lends itself perfectly to one for family and one for blog. And just look at how much space there is for each side! I can write in blog schedule plans, plans for scheduling tweets, twitter chats, all sorts and then on the other side I can write in Azii's hours, Ethan's lunch choices at school, doctors appointments and any other reminders. I love the little 'reminder' columns down each side, too, there's always those little extra notes that need a place to go.

Even more impressively these have little dividers at each three month interval which have little cardboard slots in which allow for you to pop in scraps of paper with notes on, business cards, receipts, tickets, anything that needs a home for now, but needs to stay near your diary too.

Yup, I'm in love with a diary - Being the stationery addict that I am it's hardly surprising but these guys have just made it perfect. They've thought of so many little details, all the things that a busy person needs and they've fitted it all in to one, really cute looking journal.

They also do wall calenders and planners etc as well as other home bits. One of the things I Really want to get from them in the future is their chalk board labels which allow you to stick them to your jars and re-label them depending on what's inside - Not to mention they have a lovely, rustic feel to them.

Yeah, I am a bit in love with this brand and so glad that I randomly decided I needed a new diary this far ahead of the new year - They might have all been sold out if I'd looked later and then I would have been very sad, haha.

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Sunday, 28 September 2014

Crazily comfortable, fantastic looking lounge wear from Your Dreamcatcher*

When you suffer from chronic pain/chronic health problems it goes without saying that you enjoy lounge wear. Before Ethan started school (and I had to be up to get him ready for the school run) I used to spend a lot of days in pyjamas - Why? Well pyjamas are made for comfort, they have soft fabrics, aren't too restrictive and tend to not have uncomfortable seams - When you have sensitive skin and aching muscles a lot of the time this is an absolute dream.

I am not, of course, ignoring the need for lounge wear for the healthier people out there - My goodness we all deserve pj days/lounge wear days. We live in a world where it's often go go go so clothing which promotes slowing down, having a quiet day and just relaxing - Well why ever not?!

Your Dreamcatcher are a company that believe that you should be able to wear comfortable clothes, lounge wear, but still be able to look good - A match made in heaven I'm sure you'll agree. They have a small range of beautiful looking clothing which looks comfortable even just in the photos - You can see how soft the fabric looks and when you look at their joggers you can see how soft and padded the waist band is, you're not going to be rubbed and made uncomfortable in those - They just exude comfort.

I have been sent their off their grey off the shoulder top* which I fell in love with before I even knew I was getting it. I love their logo, the dream catcher is something that really reminds me of my younger days when I had them all over my room and had some really treasured jewellery in the shape of a dream catcher too. For this lovely company the dream catcher represents the idea of capturing and following your dreams - Something which we all need to be reminded of from time to time.

As well as the beautiful lounge wear, Your Dreamcatcher have a range of simple, beautiful jewellery. I am very very tempted to buy the necklace or bracelet even if just because it reminds me, so much of the necklace I had when I was younger.

Yup, sadly, my photos are still taken in the same place - I've hunted through the house to find somewhere better, I tried outside but nowhere really worked quite right - So here I am in front of a slightly imperfect door frame again!

Thankfully, the background doesn't detract from the subject and, in this instance the subject is my beloved 'Grey off the shoulder top' - Yes, I said beloved - When you have super sensitive skin and clothing often hurts, something as comfortable as this top is just amazing! And I think you'll agree, as well as being comfortable it looks just great.

I paired it, for this photo, with my Primark jeggings and lace effect pumps as well as some of my favourite accessories; my Olivia Burton watch from Time By Me, my owl clock necklace (which wasn't intentionally tucked in but I actually quite like the way it looks) and a pearl style bracelet from Primark - This is the sort of outfit I'd put together if I was planning on staying home but might want to pop out to the garage for supplies or might need to do the school run. I think it's casual but, to be honest, looks great - Definitely a case of lounge wear with style.

I'm a size 10-12 and I have this in a size 12 which should give you an idea of sizing. It's not the biggest fit ever but it has plenty of room and stretch in it, too; I think that, if I was a more standard 12, this would still fit me. The top comes from size 8-16 so should fit a range of people. The top does have a tendency to crease but that's a small price to pay for this level of comfort, in my mind. It washed well and dried quickly (It's not meant to go in the tumble dryer)

I love the off the shoulder style, I love the shade of grey that they've picked and I love love love the logo - I often avoid clothing with logos but this one I am more than happy to make an exception for. For £19.99 I think this is a good price, it's not as super cheap as places like Primark, but it is cheaper than you'd get for the majority of high st stores and, to be honest, the quality of this clothing is above and beyond a lot of stores. Honestly, in love. I have been really considering the necklace, bracelet and joggers from the range, they may well be going on my Christmas list this year! 

To keep up-to-date don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin and Twitter @petitmoi_bigworld

*This item was sent to me for the purpose of review but I promise that my opinions are my own and utterly true*
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