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Lately, I've been uninspired in relation to this blog. All my standard ideas for posts bore me and I can't come up with anything creative to warrant me putting the time in to do a post. I always tend to be hard on myself when it comes to deadlines, with essays at uni and with blog posts. In my head I have a schedule for things and it has to be done by then otherwise I just feel like I've failed. 

On Twitter I saw a discussion on publishing blog posts at a set time and whether people actually care. I myself, as well as most others it seems, don't wait around to read a post as soon as it's published. When I get the time or am in the mood I go through my Bloglovin' feed which just has every post of all the blogs I follow. All the posts are there and I know which ones I haven't read yet, it's great. So with that in mind, I started to wonder why I stick to a schedule. As of now, it's more habit than anything else. Sooo I'm ditching my schedule, I'll still probably stick with posts on Tuesday & Thursday but the time I press publish will just be whenever.

I think my inspiration and joie de vie as it were is at a low. I just feel like I'm walking without moving or swimming against a current, whatever analogy you prefer. At the moment I just don't know what to do, my life is stagnant and really has no central purpose. I've made the decision to go back to uni next year, to do a degree which will really help me move towards the career I want. Until then I don't know what to do. I'm applying for jobs but getting nowhere, I'm also applying for volunteer positions at museums but haven't heard back about anything yet. I'm constantly waiting for something to happen. There's also other issues which I should probably attempt to deal with but just can't be bothered.

Until something happens or my mood changes I'm just gonna do whatever I feel excited about. At the moment I'm really enjoying making videos for my YouTube channel. I upload on Fridays and tomorrow's vid is really cool if I do say so. Other things that make my heart pulse with a feeling I'm not quite sure of but I think it might be passion is learning French on Duolingo and a TV show called Versailles. It follows Louis XIV and him turning Versailles into the palace it is today. Thanks to that show I've now fallen down the rabbit hole in regards to French royal history and need to know everything. I've also just bought a book which is about the movie Marie Antionette, it is by Sofia Coppola and has the most stunning pictures. It's one of my favourite movies and I can't wait till it arrives. I'm also reminiscing about my days as an art history student and I'm really missing learning about paintings and the lives of those they depict. I often think about what I would do for my Masters. There's a number of avenues I could go down but as usual, I can't decide. I'm one of those people who really enjoyed uni and learning, I actually can't wait till I have something to work towards.

As previously mentioned above Bloglovin' is an awesome website and you can follow my blog here.

Ashley xx

Don't Force It

Thursday, 22 June 2017


Lately, I've been uninspired in relation to this blog. All my standard ideas for posts bore me and I can't come up with anything creative to warrant me putting the time in to do a post. I always tend to be hard on myself when it comes to deadlines, with essays at uni and with blog posts. In my head I have a schedule for things and it has to be done by then otherwise I just feel like I've failed. 

On Twitter I saw a discussion on publishing blog posts at a set time and whether people actually care. I myself, as well as most others it seems, don't wait around to read a post as soon as it's published. When I get the time or am in the mood I go through my Bloglovin' feed which just has every post of all the blogs I follow. All the posts are there and I know which ones I haven't read yet, it's great. So with that in mind, I started to wonder why I stick to a schedule. As of now, it's more habit than anything else. Sooo I'm ditching my schedule, I'll still probably stick with posts on Tuesday & Thursday but the time I press publish will just be whenever.

I think my inspiration and joie de vie as it were is at a low. I just feel like I'm walking without moving or swimming against a current, whatever analogy you prefer. At the moment I just don't know what to do, my life is stagnant and really has no central purpose. I've made the decision to go back to uni next year, to do a degree which will really help me move towards the career I want. Until then I don't know what to do. I'm applying for jobs but getting nowhere, I'm also applying for volunteer positions at museums but haven't heard back about anything yet. I'm constantly waiting for something to happen. There's also other issues which I should probably attempt to deal with but just can't be bothered.

Until something happens or my mood changes I'm just gonna do whatever I feel excited about. At the moment I'm really enjoying making videos for my YouTube channel. I upload on Fridays and tomorrow's vid is really cool if I do say so. Other things that make my heart pulse with a feeling I'm not quite sure of but I think it might be passion is learning French on Duolingo and a TV show called Versailles. It follows Louis XIV and him turning Versailles into the palace it is today. Thanks to that show I've now fallen down the rabbit hole in regards to French royal history and need to know everything. I've also just bought a book which is about the movie Marie Antionette, it is by Sofia Coppola and has the most stunning pictures. It's one of my favourite movies and I can't wait till it arrives. I'm also reminiscing about my days as an art history student and I'm really missing learning about paintings and the lives of those they depict. I often think about what I would do for my Masters. There's a number of avenues I could go down but as usual, I can't decide. I'm one of those people who really enjoyed uni and learning, I actually can't wait till I have something to work towards.

As previously mentioned above Bloglovin' is an awesome website and you can follow my blog here.

Ashley xx

I teased a little bit of the review of these three books in my last post so it was only fair that I should attempt to properly write about them. I'm pretty sure these were re-released as they were published in 1999 & 2000. Something which I thought was pretty cool is that in The Firemaker*  the author has written an introduction in which he shares his first trip to China, how he became fascinated with the country as well as how he researched for the stories and the real people who inspired the characters. I just thought it was an interesting insight into the series before I started the books.

I was sent the first three books in the series from Hachette NZ, The Firemaker, The Fourth Sacrifice* & The Killing Room*. There are also three other books in the series and they're on my to-read list, I'm interested in how the story of Li & Margaret develops.

The first book, The Firemaker, sets up the premise of the series. We're introduced to the two main characters, Li Yan is a Beijing detective & Margaret Campbell is an American pathologist. To escape her past Margaret takes up a teaching position at a Beijing University and ends up helping Li's investigation. Their relationship started out rocky but over the short period together they grow closer. Their relationship throughout the books is intense, they either hate each other or love each other. Most of the time it's both.

So each of the books covers a different investigation which so far manages to put them both in danger. While at times they're not too happy about working together they make a good team, making up for each other's weaknesses. Something I found interesting when reading the books was while they are crime stories that aspect sort of took a back seat and was more about Li & Margaret's relationship. It was explored through the cases they did and how they had to work together.

The crimes themselves are really interesting as well as clever, usually it's not until the end where you kind of get an idea of who is behind it all. Something else I found interesting with the cases is the link to people in powerful positions. I don't want to spoil it too much so I might just leave it there.

Like I said I really enjoyed the books and am interested in seeing how Li & Margaret's relationship plays out. I rated the first two 3.5 stars & the last 4 stars.

Have you read any of the China Thriller series?

Ashley xx
*Review copies 

Review | The Firemaker, The Fourth Sacrifice & The Killing Room by Peter May

Thursday, 15 June 2017


I teased a little bit of the review of these three books in my last post so it was only fair that I should attempt to properly write about them. I'm pretty sure these were re-released as they were published in 1999 & 2000. Something which I thought was pretty cool is that in The Firemaker*  the author has written an introduction in which he shares his first trip to China, how he became fascinated with the country as well as how he researched for the stories and the real people who inspired the characters. I just thought it was an interesting insight into the series before I started the books.

I was sent the first three books in the series from Hachette NZ, The Firemaker, The Fourth Sacrifice* & The Killing Room*. There are also three other books in the series and they're on my to-read list, I'm interested in how the story of Li & Margaret develops.

The first book, The Firemaker, sets up the premise of the series. We're introduced to the two main characters, Li Yan is a Beijing detective & Margaret Campbell is an American pathologist. To escape her past Margaret takes up a teaching position at a Beijing University and ends up helping Li's investigation. Their relationship started out rocky but over the short period together they grow closer. Their relationship throughout the books is intense, they either hate each other or love each other. Most of the time it's both.

So each of the books covers a different investigation which so far manages to put them both in danger. While at times they're not too happy about working together they make a good team, making up for each other's weaknesses. Something I found interesting when reading the books was while they are crime stories that aspect sort of took a back seat and was more about Li & Margaret's relationship. It was explored through the cases they did and how they had to work together.

The crimes themselves are really interesting as well as clever, usually it's not until the end where you kind of get an idea of who is behind it all. Something else I found interesting with the cases is the link to people in powerful positions. I don't want to spoil it too much so I might just leave it there.

Like I said I really enjoyed the books and am interested in seeing how Li & Margaret's relationship plays out. I rated the first two 3.5 stars & the last 4 stars.

Have you read any of the China Thriller series?

Ashley xx
*Review copies 


I mentioned in Tuesday's post how I can't believe it's already the middle of the year. I still feel like I haven't really started 2017, nothing has happened to propel myself somewhere. I'm still standing still. One thing that has been moving along is my reading which is great. I'm really excited about the books I'm planning to get to this month.


These two are what I am currently reading. Both are part of series and ones that I really love. The End of OZ by Danielle Paige* is the fourth book in the Dorothy Must Die series and so far I've only read the one before it, Yellow Brick War. The first two are on my long list of books to read and I'll eventually get to them. This book picks up where the last left off; Amy, Nox & Madison have been uprooted by the Yellow Brick Road from Oz and been dumped in the dark world of Ev. Along with Dorothy they have another enemy to defeat, the Nome King and unfortunately for them it seems he's taken a shine to Dorothy. I just think this is such a creative sequel to the original story and I'm really enjoying the book just as much as its predecessor. 

Who's Afraid Too? by Maria Lewis* is the sequel to Who's Afraid. The story follows Tommi who discovers after a trip to New Zealand to meet her father's side of the family that she is a werewolf. The story picks up with Tommi and Lorcan in Berlin living and training with the Rogues which are a group of fellow werewolves who essentially made their own pack. Along with learning how to sharpen her new skills Tommi is also learning about her Maori ancestry and also figuring out her relationship with Lorcan. So far I'm not up to when the antagonist shows up but for now I'm enjoying getting to know Tommi again, she's pretty cool.



These books I hope to get to this month. I've never read any of Roxane Gay's work before but have heard great things. Difficult Women* is a collection of stories about a variety of women. Women of wealth & poverty, women in loving relationships and women who are not. The stories are a glimpse into modern America. Feminist literature is an area I haven't read much of but want to and if anyone has any recommendations I would love to hear.

Dear Ijeawele by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie* is fifteen suggestions for how to empower a young girl to be a strong, independent woman. These were written in response to a letter from a friend asking Chimamanda's advice on how to raise her daughter as a feminist. Women of all ages will find this book beneficial, not only for raising daughters but for themselves.

Size Zero by Victoire Dauxerre* follows her career as a model starting at the young age of 17. Her story looks at the dark aspect of modelling with her urged to become thinner by designers and photographers. While Dauxerre's story is confronting I'm looking forward to reading her journey.

What books do you plan on reading this month?

Ashley xx
* Review copies

Books to Read in June

Thursday, 8 June 2017



I mentioned in Tuesday's post how I can't believe it's already the middle of the year. I still feel like I haven't really started 2017, nothing has happened to propel myself somewhere. I'm still standing still. One thing that has been moving along is my reading which is great. I'm really excited about the books I'm planning to get to this month.


These two are what I am currently reading. Both are part of series and ones that I really love. The End of OZ by Danielle Paige* is the fourth book in the Dorothy Must Die series and so far I've only read the one before it, Yellow Brick War. The first two are on my long list of books to read and I'll eventually get to them. This book picks up where the last left off; Amy, Nox & Madison have been uprooted by the Yellow Brick Road from Oz and been dumped in the dark world of Ev. Along with Dorothy they have another enemy to defeat, the Nome King and unfortunately for them it seems he's taken a shine to Dorothy. I just think this is such a creative sequel to the original story and I'm really enjoying the book just as much as its predecessor. 

Who's Afraid Too? by Maria Lewis* is the sequel to Who's Afraid. The story follows Tommi who discovers after a trip to New Zealand to meet her father's side of the family that she is a werewolf. The story picks up with Tommi and Lorcan in Berlin living and training with the Rogues which are a group of fellow werewolves who essentially made their own pack. Along with learning how to sharpen her new skills Tommi is also learning about her Maori ancestry and also figuring out her relationship with Lorcan. So far I'm not up to when the antagonist shows up but for now I'm enjoying getting to know Tommi again, she's pretty cool.



These books I hope to get to this month. I've never read any of Roxane Gay's work before but have heard great things. Difficult Women* is a collection of stories about a variety of women. Women of wealth & poverty, women in loving relationships and women who are not. The stories are a glimpse into modern America. Feminist literature is an area I haven't read much of but want to and if anyone has any recommendations I would love to hear.

Dear Ijeawele by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie* is fifteen suggestions for how to empower a young girl to be a strong, independent woman. These were written in response to a letter from a friend asking Chimamanda's advice on how to raise her daughter as a feminist. Women of all ages will find this book beneficial, not only for raising daughters but for themselves.

Size Zero by Victoire Dauxerre* follows her career as a model starting at the young age of 17. Her story looks at the dark aspect of modelling with her urged to become thinner by designers and photographers. While Dauxerre's story is confronting I'm looking forward to reading her journey.

What books do you plan on reading this month?

Ashley xx
* Review copies



Well I did it, I survived. That could be one of the favourites, I survived a week on my own. It was nerve-wracking to say the least, especially at night. Honestly, the worst thing was my own paranoia and believe me I was constantly on the edge of a panic attack throughout. And now the whole fam is back and I've got some new stuff. I'll share what I got in a video. Also is anyone else freaking out it's now the middle of the year?


L'Oreal Paris Pure Clay Mask & Lioele A.C Control Night Spot
I wrote about these two products in my New in Skincare post and am really loving them. The face mask works really well and it also smells so nice which is a plus. I'm pretty sure the Night Spot treatment works. I've used it numerous times, I don't see an immediate change but I think it clears them away faster which is great.

Grey Oversized Cardigan 
I showed this on my latest clothing haul video and is from The Warehouse. I ended up getting a size too big but it's still a nice item to throw on over whatever you're wearing. It's got some tie detailing on the sides and has a hood.

The Firemaker, The Fourth Sacrifice & The Killing Room by Peter May*
As you can imagine these three took me a while to get through. These are part of the China Thriller series and follows a Chinese cop and an American pathologist. I'm going to do a review on them next week so keep an eye out for that.

What have you been loving in May?

Ashley xx
*Review copies

May Favourites

Tuesday, 6 June 2017




Well I did it, I survived. That could be one of the favourites, I survived a week on my own. It was nerve-wracking to say the least, especially at night. Honestly, the worst thing was my own paranoia and believe me I was constantly on the edge of a panic attack throughout. And now the whole fam is back and I've got some new stuff. I'll share what I got in a video. Also is anyone else freaking out it's now the middle of the year?


L'Oreal Paris Pure Clay Mask & Lioele A.C Control Night Spot
I wrote about these two products in my New in Skincare post and am really loving them. The face mask works really well and it also smells so nice which is a plus. I'm pretty sure the Night Spot treatment works. I've used it numerous times, I don't see an immediate change but I think it clears them away faster which is great.

Grey Oversized Cardigan 
I showed this on my latest clothing haul video and is from The Warehouse. I ended up getting a size too big but it's still a nice item to throw on over whatever you're wearing. It's got some tie detailing on the sides and has a hood.

The Firemaker, The Fourth Sacrifice & The Killing Room by Peter May*
As you can imagine these three took me a while to get through. These are part of the China Thriller series and follows a Chinese cop and an American pathologist. I'm going to do a review on them next week so keep an eye out for that.

What have you been loving in May?

Ashley xx
*Review copies

May has been a break from the norm for me as my parents went on their 'OE' at the start of the month. My siblings left and are over in Hawaii with them so I'm left on my own with only the dogs for company. I won't lie it's not been overly great. My anxiety is at an all time high especially at night but having the dogs here helps. It also sucks cause I don't know how to drive yet so have to walk 30 mins to my nearest bus stop which just puts me off. So I've just been at home reading.



A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom*
After finsihing The Glass Universe* I just found this book so much easier to read, the lanague and the way it was written was'nt too complex. The story follows Mel who is coping with a mental illness as well some complicated friendships. None of her friends know about her illness, she wants to keep it that way as well as what happened with her brother. I really enjoyed the story especially one about a character with mental illness. I releated a lot with Mel in her handling her illness as well as keeping people at a distance.

3.5 stars


Perfect by Cecilia Ahern*
This is the sequel to Flawed* and we pick up where we left off where Celestine has become an 'evader' and has gone into hiding. It's been a long time between books so I was very lost when reading and I could'nt remember anything. I really liked Celestine's character development. She becomes more sure of herself, confident and becomes a leader. She risks her own outcome to help the Flawed population. The only thing I felt off about was her relationship with Carrick, it went intense real fast. To be fair I can't remember the first book at all and also their situation is what brought them together so they've got a close bond.

3 stars

What books have you been reading this month?

Ashley xx
*Review copies from HarperCollins NZ

Review | A Tragic Kind of Wonderful & Perfect

Thursday, 25 May 2017


May has been a break from the norm for me as my parents went on their 'OE' at the start of the month. My siblings left and are over in Hawaii with them so I'm left on my own with only the dogs for company. I won't lie it's not been overly great. My anxiety is at an all time high especially at night but having the dogs here helps. It also sucks cause I don't know how to drive yet so have to walk 30 mins to my nearest bus stop which just puts me off. So I've just been at home reading.



A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom*
After finsihing The Glass Universe* I just found this book so much easier to read, the lanague and the way it was written was'nt too complex. The story follows Mel who is coping with a mental illness as well some complicated friendships. None of her friends know about her illness, she wants to keep it that way as well as what happened with her brother. I really enjoyed the story especially one about a character with mental illness. I releated a lot with Mel in her handling her illness as well as keeping people at a distance.

3.5 stars


Perfect by Cecilia Ahern*
This is the sequel to Flawed* and we pick up where we left off where Celestine has become an 'evader' and has gone into hiding. It's been a long time between books so I was very lost when reading and I could'nt remember anything. I really liked Celestine's character development. She becomes more sure of herself, confident and becomes a leader. She risks her own outcome to help the Flawed population. The only thing I felt off about was her relationship with Carrick, it went intense real fast. To be fair I can't remember the first book at all and also their situation is what brought them together so they've got a close bond.

3 stars

What books have you been reading this month?

Ashley xx
*Review copies from HarperCollins NZ

Ever since I got my first proper fragrance (Curious by Britney Spears) I've worn some every day. I have a number of them which I alternatively wear, I just look at them in the morning and pick. I saw the newest YSL fragrance floating around on my favourite beauty blogs so I headed to my nearest pharmacy to have a look. I had a voucher and was in the mood to buy but had trouble picking between Nuit Blanche & Floral shock. They both smelled similar to me but in the end, I went with Nuit Blanche.

Nuit Blanche translated means 'White Night'. It's a all night arts festival in Paris and the fragrance is inspired by the night life.



From an aesthitic point of view the packaging, both the bottle and the box, is stunning. The bottle is black and glittery with an infusion of pink/purple. I got the 50 ml bottle and is the perfect size to fit in your hand.

The scent is sweet but in a dark mysterious way. The notes include the combination of coffee with sparkling orange blossom illuminated by white musk. There's also vanilla, bourbon pepper, smooth rice and sandalwood. It smells amazing and is definietly my first 'sophicated' fragrance that I've ever owned.

Do you have a YSL fragrance? What is your favourite?

Ashley xx

YSL | Black Opium Nuit Blanche

Tuesday, 23 May 2017


Ever since I got my first proper fragrance (Curious by Britney Spears) I've worn some every day. I have a number of them which I alternatively wear, I just look at them in the morning and pick. I saw the newest YSL fragrance floating around on my favourite beauty blogs so I headed to my nearest pharmacy to have a look. I had a voucher and was in the mood to buy but had trouble picking between Nuit Blanche & Floral shock. They both smelled similar to me but in the end, I went with Nuit Blanche.

Nuit Blanche translated means 'White Night'. It's a all night arts festival in Paris and the fragrance is inspired by the night life.



From an aesthitic point of view the packaging, both the bottle and the box, is stunning. The bottle is black and glittery with an infusion of pink/purple. I got the 50 ml bottle and is the perfect size to fit in your hand.

The scent is sweet but in a dark mysterious way. The notes include the combination of coffee with sparkling orange blossom illuminated by white musk. There's also vanilla, bourbon pepper, smooth rice and sandalwood. It smells amazing and is definietly my first 'sophicated' fragrance that I've ever owned.

Do you have a YSL fragrance? What is your favourite?

Ashley xx

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