Friday, 11 November 2011

Book Review: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Rarely do i watch a film and then read the book it was based on, but here is an exception :)

I saw the film a couple of years ago and even though it got bad reviews, i still enjoyed it. It was quite conflicting with the girl being so innocent and sweet vs. the dark side of her killer. Watching the movie definitely gave me chills and so i wanted to read the book to see if it was even better than the movie.

To be honest, i preferred the portrayal of the girl in the movie as in the book she seems a bit tougher and more upfront, and the killer did not come across as menacing also. In the movie I actually cried towards the end, maybe because i am a mother now and i am all emotional about innocent children, but i thought the cinematography was brilliant.

In the book i got a little bored towards the end and actually just scanned over the last few chapters as it got kind of mundane. Overall i think the plot is good, and i enjoyed the way the story was told. I would rate the book 6/10 and definitely recommend the movie!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Book Review- Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia



my latest book read is of “Princess”. This book is told in the first person by “princess sultana”, a member of the the Al Saud royal family. her story is of her life as the youngest daughter of her family through to raising her own children, and she also shares stories of other women from Saudi Arabia that she has heard and experienced over the years. The stories are shocking, and by the end of it I am really appalled by the actions of some individuals that she came across. I think it is a very important read, just to really open people’s eyes to the life of a woman in Saudi Arabia. Although princess sultana is one of the very lucky few, the women's lives around her are very saddening even though they are incredibly wealthy.


without giving too much away i am happy for her by the end of the book, but i know her life story is not over yet. if you are curious to learn more about the workings of the saudi royals, you should deffo read this book! I believe she has written a few more books which i look forward to reading in the future as i am curious to know about her daughters lives.

whilst reading this book i hear news that saudi arabia has finally allowed women to vote! i know i should feel happy, but deep down i honestly think there are more important issues to deal with than letting a woman tick a box life child brides for example, but that’s for a different post!

peace! xx

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Book Review: Not Without My Daughter by Betty Mahmoody

I just finished reading Not Without My Daughter by Betty Mahmoody. It has always been a book that I have wanted to read as it is a hot topic and certainly a worrying one for myself. it is based on a true story of Betty, an American woman who marries an Iranian man and ends up going with him for a 2 week holiday to Iran with their 5 year old daughter. Unfortunately for her, her husband was never planning on returning to USA, and so she is trapped in Iran and subjected to her abusive husband and his family.

To be honest, the book definitely was very drawn out, with not much really taking place until the last few chapters of the book. a lot of the book was just describing what ingredients she bought for dinner, and about her daily schedule. but i have to remind myself that this isn't a fiction novel, but an account of what really took place, so from that perspective i can see that she has to include all these mundane tasks to add to the plot as that is exactly what her existence in Iran was like; mundane at best.
the description of her surroundings is very colourful and helps you to imagine the living conditions she was in, actually after the first couple of chapters i felt a bit sick :(
I was impressed by her bravery, but also surprised that she would put her daughter in that position, when it comes to planning her escape. As much as i wouldn’t like to be stuck in a country i don’t want to be in, i don’t think i could put my child at that much risk.

All in all it was a good read, but I was left wanting to know the husbands side of the story!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Just finished reading Desperate in Dubai :)

I don't know if it's right to say i enjoyed reading "Desperate in Dubai" it as there is a lot of drama and sadness, but i was definitely hooked and finished the book in 2 days as i couldn't put it down! I felt like I was almost being dragged and caught up in the 4 main characters lives, and at times I definitely felt as if I was right there with them, experiencing all these emotions; guilt, fear, sadness, anger, remorse, excitement, hope...I also think that the reason i found it so interesting is because i see a part of myself in all these girls, and felt a lot of compassion for each character, wishing that i could somehow console them and tell them it would all be alright in the end. There were a lot of one-liners that i absolutely love, but can't share with you guys in case you want to read the book yourselves :) 

Overall the book was very well-written, and I do hope there is a sequel to the book, as I would love to see how the future turns out for all of the characters!!!

Saturday, 30 July 2011

I'm so excited! ~desperate in dubai novel out!~

just found out that Ameera has just finished her book"desperate in dubai" and it will be out on the 10th of August!   

i was totally hooked on her blog novel which she stopped doing as soon as she decided to publish her book, and the day has finally arrived of completion! apparently its 500+ pages long, can't wait.

i just ordered mine online because i don't know exactly which shops it will appear in london, so i can't wait for it to arrive at my door!

ok thats my little rant over, peace! xx

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Glossybox July 2011 review!

So here is this months Glossybox! Came earlier than I was expecting, so I was pleasantly surprised when the postman knocked on my door :) Here are some pics! 

CIATE Nail Enamel

ETAT LIBRE Eau de Parfum


WELEDA Pomegranate Regenerating Body Oil

XEN-TAN Deep Bronze Luxe

Very please with this months box, as I will be using all the items in this one. I have only heard of 2 of the brands so I am always happy to discover new products that i haven't heard of before! 


Friday, 24 June 2011

GlossyBox June Review!

For those of you who don't know what GlossyBox is, it's basically a company that sends you 5 exciting mini products each month for you to try out in your own home, all for £10 a month! For my american readers, it's kind of like the birchbox for you guys. So I signed up last month and got my first box today which I was super excited about! :)

I covered my address with a mug mat :) comes tracked in the mail so no chance of it going missing in the post!

such a nice box! you can definitely use the box to store other items in!

so here are the items! they are all nicely displayed inside the box and I can't wait to try them out!

retails at £30!
you get a voucher code for £30 off the 15ml bottle, good eh?

comes with a little booklet about the perfume
retails at £20! this is shade "secret places of love"

Overall I am really happy with my box today! It was definitely worth the £10 a month and I will try them out and tell you what I think! 

byebye lovelies xx 

Monday, 23 May 2011

My Scary Story: Staying at the Haunted Ria Apartment's Amber Court in Genting Highlands, Malaysia!!

N/B: this is an updated version, original is still floating around the internet but my writing has improved since 2011 so I thought I would tidy it up a bit :) I am happy to let you copy the story, repost etc but please give original link thank you!

I thought I would give you guys a little scary story :)

Back in 2007 I went on my first trip to Malaysia with my husband (bf at the time) and stayed for over 2 months. This was the Summer before I started Uni, and I really wanted to get some sun before going back to the UK. We saw a lot, but one weekend we were kind of stuck for ideas and he suggested that we go to this place called Genting Highlands. My husband had been up there as a kid and he thought it might be something fun to do. Basically it is a resort that is built in the mountains about an hour's drive from the capital. It has some rides and attractions, as well as a couple of casinos, so it is quite popular as a mini vacation. 

We invited 2 of our friends and we started our journey at 6am and got the coach up there. On the way up I got a little sick, apparently due to the altitude change, so I was not in a good mood from the start. It was also quite cold, I think it was around 11C, and I was not prepared for that!
That multicolored building is the First World Hotel, which has the most rooms in the world!
So we had not booked a hotel place, and there was nothing available that we could afford (we were 19 yr old students!), so we asked around and managed to find this minivan driver who worked for a hotel about 15 minutes drive away from the main park, and it had rooms available! It was 200 ringgit so I was happy with that and so the 4 of us got into his minivan and away we drove!

we stayed at 9: ria apartments
As we got further and further away from the main convention centre, we started passing all kinds of creepy things, like completely abandoned buildings and building projects that had been left unfinished. The van was totally quiet and we had to stop a couple of times to wait for the fog to clear (it was so thick!) I took a few videos and photos because I thought they were so creepy looking. I can't really describe what that road up there was like, maybe post-zombie apocalypse meets the shining? 

So we finally pull up to our hotel and i was not a happy bunny.

Saying this place was creepy is the understatement of the century!!! I knew from the moment I looked at it that there was something very wrong about it all. My emotions are easily affected by my surroundings, and this place was sending my anxiety off the charts! So we got out of the minivan and the driver sped off quickly. Already I was telling my husband that I wanted to find another place but he said that it was only for one night and that we would be ok!

There were a couple of people at reception and that was pretty much it, the place was deserted, and I honestly mean that. I think we must have been one of the only people in that place. We get our key and make our way past one shop where i spy some maggi noodles, that was literally the best thing about the place haha! We got into this old elevator and got to the 14th floor and that's where the real fun began. Inside the apartment there was a kitchen and living room, and then 2 separate bedrooms with their own en-suites. You could not see anything out of the window as it was incredibly misty. It was like being inside a cloud. And the worst bit was that the whole building groaned and the wind made the worst kind of noise against the windows, really horrible howling!

I wanted to take a shower but the water was freezing and stopped after a while, and the room felt damp, it just smelt of oldness. I was really moody at this point and hungry so my hubby and his friend decided to go downstairs and get my maggi. I was left with the girlfriend and we were in the living room just hanging out and then suddenly she said she was tired and feeling ill so she went to lie down in her bedroom. I went into my room to put some makeup on and I left my bedroom door wide open. I was doing my makeup in the mirror and I heard stuff being moved around in the kitchen. I was happy because the guys were back with my food! I also felt like someone was watching me from the living room, and I assumed it was my husband.

I went out and they weren't in the main room so I thought they had maybe gone into the other bedroom but I looked inside and my friend looked up from her bed looking puzzled. I asked her where the guys were and she looked a bit confused and told me to check her bathroom. I thought it was a bit weird that they were hanging out in the bathroom but when I went to check, nobody was there. I then thought they must have gone out again so I went and waited in the living room. I was pretty bored and was just sitting all alone just watching the fog roll by the windows (we were quite high up). I then looked down at my fingernails and I remember that they had turned blue!

Then this the freaky part, I am diagnosed with vertigo and I have an irrational fear of heights. I will literally start crying if I feel unsafe and I even freak out when walking around a shopping mall. But I looked at the window and for some reason I wanted to look out. I slowly walked over and opened the window, and felt the cold air and mist. I leant right over as the window was waist high, and looked down and it looked like a very long drop, and I kept on thinking how easily I could fall out...and suddenly I felt like something was glaring at me from the corner of my eye, something seriously evil and it felt like a woman, and I snapped out of it and shut the window fast and spun round.

At that exact moment the guys came back with some food and they were laughing and joking. I asked my husband if he had gone out twice and he said no, so I pushed all that creepiness to one side, thinking I was probably still a bit sick. We left the hotel and went to the main park, and returned later that night around 11pm. With all that crazy fog I'm really surprised we did not get lost in those highlands. That night was uneventful, although I did wake up 3-4 times in the night but I quickly buried myself under the covers!

I only told my hubby my story once we were back in KL and he looked very concerned. He knows how crazy my fear of heights is and so he seemed to think that I had been drawn to the window?! I have no reason to make it up and I had no idea that the place was apparently haunted until I researched a bit online.

And to end this lovely story, all the photos I took of this specific hotel have gone. All the other pictures I took of this area are still in my computer, including the rides etc but I can't find the hotel ones anywhere, almost like they were wiped from the camera..freaky eh? :p

Thursday, 5 May 2011

i love moroccan style!

i absolutely adore moroccan interior design. it is my dream to one day have my own house that i can decorate in the style of a moroccan villa. i have never actually been there but just from books and maybe some moroccan restaurants, i have fallen in love with the style. i love how it is rustic yet still inviting and comforting, with lots of colour and fabrics that compliment each other. sometimes i wish i was born back in the 1600s when there were harems and stuff, where all women did was lay around on cushions and had a spa day everyday (lol i know there are some of us still out there that do this!) ill keep on dreaming eh? :P

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

How to make magloba

Magloba is an Arabic dish my mother in law taught me so Im gonna teach you!


Whole chicken
Curry powder
Tumeric powder
Greek yoghurt


First boil a pot of water, enough to cook your chicken in

Once boiling, place whole chicken in water, along with 2 tablespoons of Curry powder and one tablespoon of tumeric powder, with a couple of pinches of salt

Let it boil for about 40 minutes

Heat up the oven at 200c and wash the rice

Remove the chicken from the pot and place in a baking tray in the middle rack and cook for 20, or whenever chicken is done.

Meanwhile, use the chicken stock left in the pot to cook your rice with

Cut up some Tomato and cucumber into small pieces and mix with the rice when it is done.
Take your yoghurt and put into a serving bowl. Cut up one clove of Garlic and stir into the yoghurt. Take your leftover cucumber and slice it, also mixing it in the yoghurt. Finally add Salt and pepper to the yoghurt to your taste.

Now everything is ready! Just put your rice around the chicken and serve with the yoghurt! Simples!