Blue and Green Should never be seen (or so mother says) review

Whilst I get this new blog up and running I’ll be posting some of my previous posts from my old blog – as always any that were written previously will be edited slightly just to keep them up to date.

Moving on this blog will be a review of a book I read shortly after fiishing uni – Blue and Green Should Never be Seen (Or so Mother says) by Colette Kebell. I actually follow her on Twitter and earlier this week won a giveaway and received a signed copy of the prequel – The Retail Therapist (can’t wait to get stuck into that). Enjoy the review.

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Chocolate and a good book – the perfect combo 

 

Published in 2015 and featured in the reading section of Glamour magazine, this book follows a similar tradition of other chicklit; fashion, romance and an endearing protagonist.

Main character Gigi has recently opened her own fashion consulting business and is slowly but surely making her way in the world in fashion making contacts, friends and enemies along the way. No chick lit would be complete without a budding romance with a dishy chef.

 

Billed as a light, quirky chicklit read, this description does not disappoint, as a recent English Literature graduate for me this book was a lot lighter than the average books I would read, discuss and dissect, and a lot more fun.

 

What stands out is the clear research and thought the author has put into her debut novel, with references to contemporary society, and an underlying concern over money and keeping a business afloat, which are things the average person worries about.

 

Whilst the novel lacks the same humorous flare as Sophie Kinsella and the Shopaholic series, Kebell more than makes up for this in characterisation , each and every character, is someone you could easily come across in your personal life. The characters are well written, genuine and in the case of some cause you an irritability that a select few in the real world can.

 

Overall though I’d encourage anyone reading this to purchase a copy ASAP, for a debut novel it can’t go wrong!  The prequel is out too so get your hands on that once you’ve devoured this one.

 

4 stars out of 5

 

Colette can be followed on Twitter, Facebook and her personal website. I’d highly recommend you give her a follow.

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A little too Carried away?

This was originally posted on my old blog, but still feel it’s appropriate again for this one.
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With rumours constantly popping up about a third Sex and the City film, I find myself less excited and a little more bored with it all. I assure I’m no hater, having discovered Sex and the City relatively late (in 2009 actually), I have since watched every episode, read the books, watched both films – even desperately applied for tickets to go to the London premier, read both the Carrie Diaries novels AND the TV series and I follow Candace Bushnell on Twitter… I’m a fan don’t get me wrong. But I would hate to see another film.
But why? The biggest one being – What would the story be about? The first film we see Big and Carrie marry after a tumultuous engagement and breakup, the second film see’s the girls head over to Abu Dhabi and Carrie’s marriage hit the “terrible twos” but honestly where would a third film go from there? Sure we could have Carrie falling pregnant and become an older mother, but isn’t that far too removed from the title Sex and The City? Would Carrie and Big divorce and see Carrie learning to date as a middle aged divorcee? I’d honestly question where the writers and producers would go with a third film, the story is pretty much told.
My second reason is The Carrie Diaries, having read and very much enjoyed both novels and the TV series, I think it would be great to see a young Carrie navigate around NYC before attending Brown University.  The final episode showed Carrie moving into Larissa’s old flat and taking a job as a waitress in order to fund her college years, but wouldn’t it be great to go back and revisit that year? A film to bridge the Carrie Dairies AND Sex and The City? What happened to Walt and Bennett? Did Larissa and Harlan stay married? Did George get clean and leave rehab? Did Sebastian and Carrie ever meet again? What happened at Maggie’s wedding? How did Charlotte come into the group? I’d much rather see more of a focus on these in-between years and these tales rather than the story of an adult Carrie – if the franchise wants to continue I see this as the next step.
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I’d love to know what happened to these guys between TCD and SATC….

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How could a loft conversion add value to your home?

 

With house prices rising and falling in these uncertain times, you may look to alternative methods to increase the value of your home. Apart from kitchen improvements, installing a second bathroom, and of course the ungovernable location of the property, a cost effective method is a simple loft conversion, they are reasonable financially and often don’t require planning permission which makes the whole process fairly simple.

Converting an attic into a room is becoming an increasingly attractive option for many homeowners, as it is easier to expand a current home than to move to another, this is a sensible option for growing families or those in need of an office space to work from home. From a structural point of view loft conversions provide a great source of natural light, top light tends to flood the room and create the illusion of more space, which is great for an office environment and for potential buyers. Many buyers are looking for extra space in any potential homes so a converted room is a great way to make your house stand out.

 

Financially they are also a great investment, not only can they add up to 20% value to your home they are relatively cheap to install – costing anything between 10,000 and £30,000. Depending on the initial value of your home this can be a sensible investment. As mentioned before you probably won’t need planning permission to convert a loft as they fall into Permitted Development Rights category. The more complicated the conversion the more likely you will need to get planning permission. When considering a loft conversion a general rule of thumb is to view a neighbour’s conversion, this will give you a general idea of space and style.

Before you begin to plan your loft conversion you need to check that your loft is actually able to be converted. Most important is the internal height of the loft from the top of the ceiling to underneath the ridge board. As a minimum this should be 2.2m, however if your loft falls below this there are options such as raising the roof and lowering the ceiling in the room below. Remember that by considering these options not only will you need to increase your budget you may also need planning permission which can add time to your conversion. For these more complicated considerations it is advised to seek the services of an architect or experienced builder and to get several quotes to ensure the best deal.

 

Lastly, should you decide to go ahead with your conversion, an important thing to consider is style.  It should be an extension of your home and not just an add-on, you might want to consider the staircase and stairway leading to your extension, and they should complement each other or link together. Whether you choose to add an extra bedroom, office or bathroom it should follow a similar design to the rest of your home. These finer details are what potential buyers will be considering when viewing your home.

Hidden Figures Review

Three Negro women are chasing a white police officer down a highway in 1961. That is a God-ordained miracle.

 

Less than 5 minutes in and I found my favourite quote from the film Hidden Figures. Yes that’s write after my rant on Twitter about the film being released later in the UK I actually got round to watching it – and I am so glad that I did.

Hidden Figures is about three back women, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson who worked at NASA and worked behind the scenes to get the first American man into Orbit. Whilst this may seem unremarkable, the time in which this is set in the 60s, there was a lot of racism and sexism around, as it was seen as the norm and these women had to deal with those attitudes not only in the workplace but in their personal lives too. Referring back to the above quote from the beginning of the film, the three are mending their car by the roadside and are approached by a police officer, Dorothy warns Mary in particular to remain quiet and polite.

What I enjoyed about the film that although Katherine Johnson played by Taraji P Henson is the main character, the two supporting characters Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae) are given their own storylines that are continued through the film.

Dorothy who is essentially covering the supervisor role, albeit without pay and status is continually denied this despite her pleas, rather than accept this she continues to fight and prove herself. At one point she is warned that her job is at risk due to a new machine, and she then decides to learn how to programme that machine so that she won’t be out of a job.

Similarly whilst this is happening we have Mary’s story in which she aspires to become an engineer, she herself faces much hardship that she is under qualified and the only place in which she can study doesn’t accept black students – here we really see her strength of character as she continues to fight and question why.

For me one of the most significant scenes although small is where Katherine is moved to another department she is immediately thought to be a custodian and a full bin is thrust into her hands – a sentiment of the times, why else would a back women be in a room full of intelligent white men?

This is a film you can watch again and again without getting bored, I’m not one to cry at films but I came pretty close to tears as the credits rolled. Naturally I like to read around and I found out that some events had been changed from the book which the film was adapted from, as such I fully intend to read the book at some point too.

But I must stress this film is one to watch – anyone reading this who hasn’t seen, lease go and watch!

As Taraji P Henson said: You are hidden figures no more, and I couldn’t agree more.

Added note – I watched Hidden Figures at the Savoy Cinema in Nottingham, I’d never been before and would highly recommend anyone in the East Midlands go, not only are the prices reasonable, it’s a great alternative to the big cinema chains, I will definitely be visiting it again in the future.

First Post

After using blogger for years I’ve decided to move onto WordPress. I’ll be honest it’s foreign to me and I’ll more than likely be changing layouts several times before I can settle on one. For now this blog will follow my tales from unemployment to career woman (whenever that happens) and all the trials and tribulations in between.

My main reason for moving to WordPress  is that I want to start afresh, last year was terrible for me for a number of reasons and I just feeling like starting again. For my birthday I had a tarot card reading, which was, weirdly accurate about many things, things which I hadn’t discussed with anyone – but the one thing that gave me hope was that this year was supposed to be much better for me than the last – the cards stressed that career wise this year would be significant, in a positive way.

 

So here’s to hoping!