Friday, 28 February 2014

The Girl in the Moonlight | A Little Challenge

In my world, March is a month where I'm a bit like "hm, what are you?" It's the anticipation for the first glimpses of warmth and the scariness of exams. To make March a bit more exciting on my blog I thought I would blog for seven days straight. Last November I set myself a challenge (HERE) where I blogged for five days straight. Then there was Blogmas and that was... tough, albeit fun. It's been a couple of months, I've recuperated and am ready for a seven day blogging challenge starting tomorrow!

So, here's my schedule for the next week and if you're from the future there will be some links attached to the titles:

Friday: A DIY post   
My challenge from November was compiled of posts that I would find a bit daunting and scary and a couple of these are those and some of the others are posts that my blog isn't synonymous with. I'm excited to stretch myself again.

So, on Saturday, I will be posting a conventional "facts about me" post because I've been trying to write another one for so long. I rarely write about beauty-related things on my blog and so thought I would address some of my recent favourites! For a while I've wanted to review books that I read years ago and so on Monday I'm going to start a new series for my blog and I'm so excited about it. On Tuesday I will talk about some of my favourite music and on Wednesday one of my favourite sites. On Thursday, I will post about a book I'm excited to read that will come out during the year; I'm excited as I've only done one "book news" kind of post before. On Friday, I will publish my first DIY post which is exciting and scary. It's been one of my aims with blogging and on my 2014 blogging bucket list I made it an aim to write and post one in 2014.

The plan is to not have these posts ready and waiting and write them the day before or on the day, although I am allowing myself to take photos in advance! I'm seeing if I can be creative without planning.

I'm excited!

Hidden Gems & Forgotten Treasures,

The Girl in the Moonlight.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Book Swap | The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman

My awesome blogging buddy, Simona recommended a book to me and I recommended one to her as part of a blogging book swap. We read them and then reviewed them and I'm excited to be posting my review of The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman. I recommended I Love the 80s by Megan Crane for Simona to read and you can read her review HERE.

The Life List is a sweet and charming read with a plot that's unique and gripping.

Brett Bohlinger should be envied. She has a handsome, rich boyfriend. Her friends and family love her. She has the perfect job. She has a fabulous loft. She should be envied... right? It takes the death of her wonderful mother to make her realise just how imperfect her life really is. Devastated and torn apart, it takes all of her will not to scream when she finds out she hasn't, after all, received her inheritance and has to complete a challenge first. And this challenge is big. She is reminded of a list she wrote when she was fourteen that her mother kept. Only there were many goals that aren't completed. There are goals remaining like having a baby and buying a horse. To receive her inheritance, Brett must complete these goals.

When my copy of The Life List came through the post, the first thing that struck me as awesome (as well as the pretty front cover) was the plot. This book isn't simply a love story. It's a life story. Brett's fourteen year old dreams were forgotten along the way and during this time she'd convinced herself that these dreams were the furthest from synonymous to her current dreams. Mother knows best, though.

Brett's character is more than pleasing. Despite forgetting her goals along the way, Brett is motivated and her ambition shines through, with and without a push from her mother. She may have not found her old goals compatible with her life initially but soon she's completing them without even realising.

Throughout the novel Brett is looking for love and it's the sweetest rollercoaster ride.

There were two friendships I adored throughout the novel, one being the friendship between Brett and her mother. Even though she's not alive throughout the novel, their relationship is felt and her presence is still beside Brett despite her death. Her mother knew her so well and Brett knew her mother too. They were best friends. I also fell in love with the friendship of Brett and Brad. They are the sort of friends who bounce off of each other perfectly and it made me want a Brad in my life.

The novel is refreshing and a reminder to the reader that materialistic things don't have to be the goal but the ones that you promise yourself you'll reach when you're younger (or other similar goals).

I enjoyed doing this with Simona and if anyone else likes the idea of it, feel free to tweet me HERE or write a comment below because I would love to do it again! Simona would love to do it again too and you can Tweet her HERE!

Burberry Coats & Phone Calls,

The Girl in the Moonlight.

P.S. Thanks to Simona for making the banner!

Monday, 24 February 2014

Carrie Says | The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

One of my New Year's Resolutions (that you can read about HERE) is to read books recommended by Carrie Hope Fletcher and then to write a review about them. You can see my first two HERE and HERE. The next book I read was The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern because of THIS video.

Carrie says: "Just... read it!"

I have so much to say about this book but I don't have the words to say it all. That's why I've put off this review, considering I finished it a couple of weeks ago. I was hypnotised by the intricacy of it all, charmed by the magic and completely wonderstruck with every word. What may seem like a strongly hyperbolised sentence, is simply the truth of a beautifully majestic novel (inside and out - I love the front cover).

The novel, I think, is disguised to appear to be focussed around this enigmatic and stunning circus. Of course, in ways, it is. This circus arrives without warning and leaves in the same fashion. It is crucial to the novel. There is a lot of detail about the tents in the circus and how it looks. There is more to this gorgeous tale, though. There is a haunting and mysterious duel between two young people that contrasts strongly with a budding and sweet romance.

This is a novel of promise, but also darkness.

I was happily hypnotised by the way Morgenstern wrote The Night Circus. The whole novel is described in a way that made me feel like I was right there, witnessing this place that mesmerises the world. It mesmerised me.

There is something innocent and yet passionate about the relationship between Celia and Marco. They are both trapped in a duel they don't understand with the future as uncertain as their "moves" in their duel. Their relationship is gorgeous despite its darkness.

Then ending? Well... "Just... read it!"

I haven't written enough for this review but I am still a bit cautious about letting my fingers tap away because not only do I not want to give anything away to potential readers of The Night Circus, but I'm finding it hard to put this enchanting novel into words.

Tents & Stars,

The Girl in the Moonlight.

Friday, 21 February 2014

A Little Trip to Lush

I, er, I... *Raises hands guiltily.* I went to Lush. What happens when I go to Lush? I leave the shop flustered, excited and, well, with less money.

This little beauty is the Mmmelting Marshmallow Moment luxury bath melt and has always been my favourite Lush product as it reminds me of Snow Fairy, their awesome Christmas shower gel. I actually bought two of these (whoopsie) but I used one last week; it's one of Lush's perfect sweet and candy-scented products. It, to me, smells of bubblegum and dolly mixtures, costs £3.95 and is good in moisturising skin.

The Twilight bath bomb is said to smell like lavender and malt; it smells beautifully flowery. It costs £3.25. It's meant to help you feel sleepy and it makes the water really pretty.

Talking about this bath bomb makes me fangirl to the extreme. It is called Avobath (in my head I hear "have a bath!") and smells like every scrumptious lemony sweet I can think of mixed in with something fresh. I haven't used it before and am excited to do so. It costs £3.25 and it seems to make the water all mystical and shimmery (without making your skin shimmery).

When I bought Bohemian soap, I went home and sat on my bed and just repeatedly sniffed it. Lovely and lemony, it lingers discreetly on the skin - no where near overpowering but simply lightly citrusy and fresh. It's soft to use and when met with water and for 100g, it cost £3.10. I believe it's one of the Lush classics as I've heard many people rave about it and I'm not surprised after using it.

I picked up Prince Charming shower gel predominantly because of the name. It cost £9.95. With my inner-romantic occasionally taking over, I just liked the idea of it. I haven't tried this yet (I have a lot of Snow Fairy shower gels to enjoy but I will be starting it soon as I don't want my Snow Fairy products to run out!) but I'm intrigued.

Well. I feel exhausted, emotionally and physically. I'm going to go and have a bath and recuperate! Do you have a favourite Lush product? Let me know!

Lemongrass & Bubblegum,

The Girl in the Moonlight.

P.S. Sorry about the plethora of lighting changes!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

"It is Toxic and Painful and Deeply Unfair," - Ellen Page

Below I have placed a video of the awesome Ellen Page and her coming out as gay.

She's one brave woman. It frustrates me completely that she had to be brave, that it's not yet unsurprising for someone to be gay and for it not being the norm to not have to "come out"; for it to not be an announcement; for everyone to just be in agreement: being gay is a-ok. But it isn't yet the norm to not have to come out and Ellen Page is bloomin' incredible.

She talks about people questioning themselves; about wondering "What on earth is going to happen to you" because of the unfairness they are exposed to at school or because they can't tell their parents "the whole truth" about themselves. The future can be a worry and she makes it clear that it's crushing. Many have pointed out the complete injustice of this whole situation in relation to all those years ago (and yet not overly long ago) when there was slavery and complete unfairness towards blacks with segregation and vile attitudes. We see that as wrong now; as sickening, inhuman and thankfully in the past. The feelings that are shadowing many gay people's lives - young and old - need to go now. They need to be left in the past. It makes me incredibly sad to think about how hopeless many feel because the whole world hasn't yet woken up and seen the light. But they will. With our help.

"I'm tired of hiding," she said. This rips a large shred of happiness out of me. *Queues rhetorical questions that I hope you can answer correctly.* Is that fair? Is that a happy world? A world where people can't tell people the truth about themselves. Is that a world we should be proud of? We can change this. If everyone gets on board the train labelled "We support lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders" and makes their support clear, we can make this world brighter.

Ellen Page has used her position to promote the struggles that the gay community have; she's also used her position to suggest the difficulty of her position: it's still difficult, celebrity or not. I don't doubt that she'll continue to promote better values; a better life for those who feel undermined. We all have to do so. Anything you do will count - just do it! Do you want to be part of history that still has all of these disgusting attitudes towards gays that are not dissimilar to the attitudes towards blacks all of those years ago? Do something about it.

Being gay isn't a choice. Being gay doesn't have to be this stigmatised thing; it shouldn't be this stigmatised thing. Let's change that!

Tweet something showing your support of gay rights, equality and the complete abolishment of disgusting attitudes towards those who love the same sex. Show a friend this video and spread this attitude. Do something.

I feel a massive surge of gratefulness to the support Ellen Page addresses through her speech; those who may work long hours to help people; to those who are helping every single day.

Change & Smiles,

The Girl in the Moonlight.

Monday, 17 February 2014

A Bit of Book Chatter | February

I buy books at a ratio much larger than my how-many-I-can-physically-read ratio. I am happy as I know I am not alone in this, but slightly worried about how I am watching my piles of books increase as quickly as I'm turning one page (there's nothing like a bit of hyperbole, ay?). These are the books I've bought in the last month!

The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson by Paige Toon

I am currently holding my beautiful and shiny copy of The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson in my hands and after the first few pages I have been hooked. I had been craving this books for weeks and marvelled it for many moments when it arrived in the post There have been many reviews around the blogosphere for Paige Toon's first young adult novel. It's about Jessie, the daughter of rock star Johnny Jefferson. Only, she hadn't known for all of her life. *Claps excitedly.* A review will be up on my blog very soon!

How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran

I bought this book because I have heard SO MANY good things about it. How To Be a Woman is, as the blurb says, "Part memoir, part rant" and oh my golly gee, I cannot wait to turn the first page. From what I've heard, Caitlin Moran outlines truths about being a woman in the most hilarious way and I know I'm going to be on many train journeys chuckling away. I've been waiting for what feels like for ever and a day to buy this book and to finally have it is incredibly exciting.

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Late last month I also bought the next book in The Mortal Instruments series as I was talking to someone who told me as soon I finish the first one I'll want to read the next. It makes me at ease to know that I can, as soon as I finish City of Bones, carry on to the next one!

Have you bought any books recently or read any of the above? I would love to know!

Rants & Cups of Tea,

The Girl in the Moonlight.

Friday, 14 February 2014

It Will Be Over Soon

 ♥    ♥    


Rubbing her eyes whilst simultaneously ignoring her mother's voice in her head ("Do stop, sweetheart, you'll get wrinkles"), Jasmine glanced at the clock. It read 02:43. It wasn't uncommon for her to stay up until too early in the morning, wrapped up in a book, but Jasmine knew she shouldn't have done so that night. Maybe it was the date that got to her; all the happiness and festivity. Or maybe it was simply a storyline that had absorbed her. She decided to go with the latter.


After having a nightmare again, Sophie couldn't resist quietly pushing open her son's bedroom door. She'd spent the last few weeks wanting to do so when she awoke, startled and, although she didn't like to admit it to herself, scared in the early hours of the morning and this morning she gave in. She simply stood in the doorway with not too much light peeking in. She watched Jack's shoulders rise and fall slightly, his eyelids acting as a quilt as they protected his gorgeous green eyes, his thick black lashes that he inherited from his father making her heart smile.

At twenty, her son was everything she'd hoped he would turn out to be. Though, she regretted the circumstances as to why he was home. He wasn't living the life he should be right now. She'd change that in any way she could.

Lost in the beautiful sight of her son, Sophie gasped when he opened his eyes. "Mum," he croaked with a tired but happy smile.

"Sorry, son. Night." He closed his eyes and she left, hoping that he wouldn't remember in the morning. She wouldn't know how to answer his questions and worried expression.


Pulling on her coat, willing herself to wake up, Jasmine ignored the clock that was unforgivingly telling her the hour. With a lecture to attend and a free afternoon (a day she would definitely rather keep busy), she was sure that she wouldn't be able to escape the mood of the day.


It was Valentine's Day. Jack felt like kicking himself as he remembered, watching his mother over breakfast as the presenters on the radio chattered about the gifts they had exchanged before they left for work. His mother was reading the newspaper but he watched her eyes and they weren't moving - confirmation that the day already had the better of her. Making a note to himself to buy her flowers on his way home, Jack put both of their dishes in the dishwasher and fell into the routine of the day.


Despite her late night, Jasmine had managed to stay awake and even gain knowledge from the morning's lecture. She was, however, thankful to walk into the comfort of a bookstore, vouchers in hand from Christmas that she was eager to spend. She loved bookstores. She loved picking up crisp, new books, stroking unbroken bindings of books and finding books she'd never heard of, as well as marvelling over books and storylines that she had looked at many times.

She forced herself not to roll her eyes as she passed the pink and red display of "Perfect Valentine Reads".

Of course, she was not averse to romance novels; in fact, she rather liked them. Today was not a day for that, she knew. She wasn't feeling particularly festive. Heading straight to the classics section, she decided she wanted to buy one of the notoriously fabulous novels that battle serious issues such as class and social struggles and then she would find a book her sister had been almost begging her to read before she would go on her adventure to find a book she hadn't looked at before. It was the perfect distraction.

She ignored the voice telling her that soon, the distraction would be gone, replaced with the emptiness she already felt, only much worse.


Sophie had felt her son watching her over breakfast that morning. She was fine, she wanted to tell him. It was true, too. Of course, the date made her heart ache a little - but no more than usual. She was fine.

Although she wouldn't tell her son later that evening, the date had been throwing her off guard a little all day long; watching people more in love than usual and lots of hand-holding and love hearts on every shop window. But she was okay.

She hoped the reason Jack was staying in tonight was not for her, but for him. She saw the way girls looked at him when the two of them went out together. He was far from having no offers. In fact, that morning Leila had called, asking him if he'd like to go out but he had declined, politely, of course.

Sophie couldn't help feeling a pang of guilt at his refusal of going out.

That morning, when worry was sure to be etched on Jack's face while she pretended to read the newspaper, Sophie had been thinking of a Valentine's Day more than ten years ago when Jack had woken her up with a cooked breakfast he claimed to have made (it was most definitely his father's doing - the heart-shaped tomato ketchup proved it) and a Valentine's card. That, he did make. He had made it during a lunchtime at school, a teacher told her during the following week. While the other children played, he stayed indoors making it for her. Her heart was as delighted that morning as it was all of those years ago.

She smiled at the knowledge of one of the many reasons why she loved her son and the person he is. His knowledge of her. His thoughtful ways. His selflessness. Her heart ached suddenly as she realised how not okay she really was.


Sat, raptly reading the back of a book, Jack couldn't help but smile at the girl about his age, maybe a year younger, a few tables away. If it wasn't Valentine's Day, he may have made a cliché comment as he walked past in a tone that would suggest irony, but the day could not be ignored. Anyway, he had no doubt that, a girl with passionate eyes like hers and a mouth that, although she may not know, twitches happily as she reads, this day was a good day for her.

After paying the bill and leaving a tip, Jack looked for a moment at the girl as he passed and left before he could consider saying anything.

He kept his head down as he walked through the busy streets of London, partially hating how festive London is at any occasion it can claw onto and partially admiring the spirit of it all. Heading into a flower shop, he prepared a story he was sure to be asked as he purchased flowers for his mother. Yes, they're for my beautiful girlfriend. We have a special night planned, he would repeat later on and ignore the urge to yell, They're actually for my grieving mother.


Reading aloud a blurb whilst being conscious of being outdoors, Jasmine suddenly stopped. Then she sighed. "It's a surprisingly warm day, actually." She sighed again. "I know, I'm talking about the weather. I can feel your glare telling me to stop." She laughed. Crouching down a bit more, Jasmine said, "I have a copy of that book you were always talking about. I'm excited to read it." She frowned sadly and stroked the stone in front of her. Daughter, it read. Sister and Friend of all she met was also engraved. It read: April 22nd, 1992 - February 14th, 2012.

Her eyes began to feel warm while the rest of her felt cold. Not bothering to stop her tears, she whispered. "I miss you, Alice. You're the best sister and I love you so much."


Her heart ached as she heard a young girl pour her heart. It was all she could do to not go over to her. Instead she found her spot easily and placed down some flowers, a card and brought out her flask, ready to read the newspaper to her husband. She was sure he'd enjoy it.

Half an hour passed and Sophie realised she was hungry and would have to go to the car to eat before returning. Getting up and finding her way back, the girl was still perched at the gravestone, still crying. She noted that she looked like a heartbreakingly beautiful picture in an ugly scene; her long blonde hair like a flower among the grey stones and her pretty pale skin attacked by unforgiving tears. Ignoring the instinct telling her not to approach her, she did, a tissue at the ready.

"Hey lovely," she said.

The girl turned, a pre-planned smile ready for her. It was a warm smile, nonetheless.

Sophie held out a tissue and the girl took it, "Thank you."

"You're welcome. Today is rubbish, I know." Sophie watched the girl. She seemed to appreciate her words. Sophie was in the same position as her, after all. "It will be over soon."

"It will be over soon," the girl repeated, as if to comfort Sophie too.


Watching a woman with a pushchair, brushing her sweet daughter's hair, she couldn't help but feel a pang that was a mixture of endearment and screaming sadness. The mother beamed and the daughter fidgeted. The mother bent down to put the hairbrush away and everything stopped.

Panic racing through her body, she went to stop the girl.

Toddling forward quickly, closer and closer to the edge of the underground platform as the noise that signified an oncoming tube drilled through her brain, Jasmine felt her throat tighten.

Shouting "Help" in an attempt to get the attention of her mother and others, Jasmine ignored the pictures of that day years ago racing through her head.

As she reached the edge, little toes peaking over the top, her mother seeing with panic written across her face, a man swooped her up into his arms as the girl giggled. "Hey," Jasmine heard him say in a warm voice. "Don't do that sweetie."

The woman approached him quickly, looking embarrassed and thankful, but more so scared for what could have happened. The woman uttered repeated apologies to her daughter and words of thanks to the man.

"Don't," the man said in a way that made sure she knew he wasn't evaluating her parenting skills. "You're all right, aren't you?" he tucked the girl under the chin and she grinned at him.

Unable to take her eyes off of him as the man joined the swarm of people waddling onto the tube, Jasmine, after admiring his actions and manner, noted his strong but sweet build and looks that made her blush when he caught her staring.

Shuffling onto the tube when it arrived, she, of course, found herself stood next to the man and tried her best to compose her thoughts. "It's the hero of the day," she felt herself tease, hoping it would be received well.

"And you'd think I'd have a seat reserved."

"So I suppose I should ask for your signature," Jasmine said.

"Oh no," he pretends to be confused, "I'm not famous," he feigns embarrassment. "Just the looks of a movie star." He waves a hand dismissively.

Jasmine felt herself grin and she forced herself to look up. She could tell he was unaware of how handsome he is but as he grinned, she was certain he'd been told before. As public transport did so well, it brought people closer - geographically speaking and Jasmine accidentally brushed her hand quickly across his chest as she tucked a piece of hair behind her ear. She hoped she didn't blush. Unable to keep their eyes locked due to the lack of distance between them making it slightly too close for comfort between two strangers, Jasmine revelled in the picture of his piercingly green eyes that was tattooed in her memory.


As they stepped off of the tube together, Jack made no attempt to keep his eyes from quickly enjoying how parts of the girl's blonde hair were tucked under the strap of her bag and parts over her shoulder. She looked accidentally beautiful. She had a happy redness to her cheeks that was endearingly sweet and a few freckles spread across her cheeks. Her crystal blue eyes seemed content but there was a slight sadness in her expression. The happiness he saw earlier in the café was still there. The panic he had seen on the platform had gone but she seemed tired after the day and he wanted to tell her that it was okay. For what, he didn't know.

While he was standing on the platform before, he had to double to take, seeing the girl again that day. It was her panicked expression before she voiced a worried call for help that caused his eyes to avert and see the toddler. When he'd returned the toddler to her mother, it was all he could do to not take the girl in his arms and take away her worry.

As a couple passed with teddy bears and chocolates and flowers in their hands, Jack accidentally laughed.

The girl smiled at him, "It's been a bit overpowering today." He wondered why and wondered also how earlier he bounced easily off of her wit and was unable to stop a smile that would take over his every feeling when she spoke and how now he couldn't think of anything to say if his life depended on it. She stopped slowly, "This is me."

Jack felt his stomach sadden and as the girl continued to grin at him, Jack nodded, feeling a smile play on his lips.


Smiling handsomely, Sophie couldn't help but feel like a teenager as her husband's eyes joked with her across the dinner table. With her perfect little family joined for a Sunday roast dinner and a movie ready to watch afterwards, she was for ever grateful that she had the life she had always wanted.

Then it disappears.

Suddenly the doorbell rings and a policeman is telling her something but she can't quite hear over the thudding of her chest.

Her husband had been in an accident.

A bad one.

The policeman was sorry but there was nothing more the paramedics could do.

Breathing heavily, sweat across her forehead, Sophie winced as she woke up on the sofa. Looking at the clock, Sophie was confused as to why Jack wasn't home. It was 6 o'clock and he was meant to be home an hour, if not two before. Picking up her phone, concerned, she read his message:

I bumped into someone on the tube. See you soon. Love you.

She smelt the flowers beside her that Jack must have dropped back home at lunch before he went back out. Sophie hadn't meant to fall asleep for so long. Re-reading Jack's text and smiling, Sophie put the phone back down and drifted into a sweet sleep.

♥    ♥    

Happy Valentine's Day!

Bookshops & Crystals,

The Girl in the Moonlight.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

My 5 Favourite Romantic Moments in Novels

With the week of Valentine's Day here comes another lovey-dovey kind of post. I thought it would be exciting to name my five favourite romantic moments in novels I have read. They're not really in an order I've thought about but the order in which they popped into my head!

*Contains strong traces of spoiler.*

1. Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

Dear John was one of the first Nicholas Sparks novels I read and as it's sprinkled with lovely and sweet moments between John and Savannah, it was the first novel that came to mind for this post.

It is actually the thoughts that John Tyree thought that is one of my favourite romantic moments:

"Nothing would ever compare to that single moment when I first kissed the girl of my dreams and knew that my love would last forever."

Beforehand John uttered those three words to Savannah and the sweetness of him fearing that she didn't feel the same way made the "I love you" she said back all the sweeter.

2. Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher

Sophie May and Billy are obviously perfect for each other from the start of the novel and one of my favourite romantic moments is from the start of their romance.

After whispering in Sophie's ear, telling her she's beautiful, the two of them, dressed in wellington boots, ride horses through the woods on the sweetest date. Afterwards, Billy leads Sophie to a gorgeously romantic destination of "twinkling fairy lights", a "canopy of stars" and the perfect picnic. The easy conversation and beautiful setting makes me envision my Friday, Valentine's night: my lounge floor warmed by a picnic blanket, fairy lights and my copy of Billy and Me!

3. One Perfect Summer by Paige Toon
Alice and Joe meet and immediately there is a connection. My favourite romantic moment in the novel will always be this one, though...

A childhood romance is ripped apart and it turns out neither Joe nor Alice really ever moved on. Although Joe's life has. Now an actor and being interviewed on TV, my heart, like Alice's is "in my throat" as Joe makes it clear that he isn't over his "first love": "I've never stopped loving her [Alice]." As I whisper knowingly, "I've never stopped loving you, Joe", I am in love with the romantic gesture.

4. Scarlett by Cathy Cassidy

Even though I read the book (and re-read it) years and years ago, Scarlett and Kian will always make my heart see rainbows and although many moments of the novel deserve to be in this post, one still has a particularly tight grasp on my heart. It was and still is my dream.

Kian suggests an alternative way to spend a day and as he and Scarlett ride horseback, Scarlett can't help but smile. As the sun makes way for rain before a rainbow inhabits the sky, my smile matches Scarlett's and my love for Kian increases. With the setting of an Irish lough, the company of apples and fairy cakes, the romantic scene makes my inner-romantic swoon.

5. The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen

Wes and Macy are upsettingly lovely together and whenever I read The Truth about Forever I'm not only dreaming of Wes (he is one of my absolute favourite male characters) but also the happiness they find in each other.

At the end of the novel Macy does something that she maybe wouldn't normally have done: she jumped. She put her heart out on the line and felt "alive". Despite everything that was going slightly wrong in her day, she made her heart happy and mine too. Carrying on a game that the two of them play throughout the novel where they ask each other a question and they have to tell the truth, when Wes asks "What would you do, if you could do anything?", Macy replies "This" and kisses him. The scene makes me the most cliché of girls.

What books have you read that have had some heart-achingly romantic moments in?

Love Hearts & Dandelions,

The Girl in the Moonlight.

Monday, 10 February 2014

A Cynical Romantic Sees Love #4

Being a complete cynic when it comes to love, I feel like the week of Valentine's Day is a good time to let my inner love for love to be, again, let loose on my blog.

Normally I write these posts after my fingers having been triggered to type excitedly by an event I've witnessed; an event that's reinforced love. Today, though, I am writing because I have witnessed so much love be given by a man who is not only my hero, but the hero of everyone he meets.

Passionate about his job, helping others, his love for life and his family, this man spreads true love in every aspect of his life. He taught me that you can have a real and complete love for more than just the stereotypical thoughts assigned with love. He practises spreading joy and happiness and love in everything that he does and he's one of those cases where "if I'm half the person he is, I'll be proud."

One time, he told a brief story of his life so far. He told of his struggles; his journeys; his job; the story of he and his wife; the story of their family. In his eyes was happiness. In his eyes was love. In his eyes was also contentment. Sometimes this may not seem overly positive. To be content may connote "settling" but that's not the story his eyes told. His life is everything he has ever wanted and his contentment sparkles because of the love he has for his life and the people in it. As, despite the struggles, he loves his life.

Sometimes he would tell one particular story. The story of the engagement of he and his wife or something awesome he experienced or a story he had been told. There is one, in particular that I remember.

He told me once of a story of pain and struggle. Yet, he smiled. He didn't smile for the sadness he and others experienced, but for the experiences he had with those involved in his tale. This man, my hero, never takes anything for granted and he never stops love from radiating in everything he does.

He makes me believe in everything good. He makes me believe in love - in every area of life.

Have you ever met anyone that suggests that love really does exist?

The other posts in this series so far:
A Cynical Romantic Sees Love #1
A Cynical Romantic Sees Love #2
A Cynical Romantic Sees Love #3

Sherbet & Flowers,

The Girl in the Moonlight.

Friday, 7 February 2014

"When I'm Older I..."

"When I'm older I will be a top clothes designer who lives in London and eats at a restaurant for dinner every single night," my best friend says to me. Two years later, she turns to me and says, "When I'm older I will live in London and be a personal assistant of a celebrity... Kylie's, hopefully." The next day she says, "When I'm older I will run a business... in London."

While my best friend, over the years, has decided ("I will most definitely own a café in Covent Garden!") who she will be when she is "older", I'd sit quietly, wondering who it is I will be when the days of deciding are here. Sure, my best friend has changed her mind since her dream of running a business but her current aim has stayed for a good while and she's on her way to figuring it out. One thing that hasn't changed, though: London. Then there's me and the one thing that hasn't changed: I am still clueless.

*Turns to mother.* "When I'm older, can I be a professional fangirl?" As my mother frowns, it is confirmed: I really have no idea what my future will be.

My future will not just be focussed around my career. I hope there will be lots of other attributes to my life but I always have the fear of not knowing what career I am looking for when I leave university.

I love to write. I really love to write. Yet, that's all I really know.

Do all of us ever really decide? Maybe I will one day. For now, I'm eighteen and not even the slightest bit sure what my career will be. A lot of adults wave their hand dismissively and say that being so young means I don't have to have it figured out; they then say it never really matters at all. Then, why do I worry about it every now and then? Maybe I won't know in ten years time after a plethora of jobs or even one job as to what I will be "when I am older"; maybe I will know. All I know for sure is that I won't force myself to decide a career when my heart's not screaming a certain career at the top of its voice.

Do you know what to be when you're "older"? Or, what you're going to be very soon? Are you in that career right now? There are a plethora of situations you might be in - I think that's the point of this post.

London & A Takeaway Coffee,

The Girl in the Moonlight.

My Bloglovin', if you're interested!

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

The Longest Ride - Nicholas Sparks

I read The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks last year and am excited to finally be posting a review of the stunningly breath-taking seventeenth novel of Nicholas Sparks. Despite the fact I mention Nicholas Sparks all of the time on my blog and write other posts about his works, this is actually my first conventional review of a Nicholas Sparks novel and I'm typing fangirlily (most definitely should be an adverb) at the thought of it.

Ira and Ruth were in love for many years; Sophia and Luke are becoming more and more a part of each other's lives after meeting unexpectedly one night. Narratively speaking, months after this night, Ira is in danger and being comforted by the ghost of his beloved wife.

The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks (just in case you hadn't caught his name throughout this post!) is the most charming gem.

Synonymous with Nicholas Sparks novels are wonderfully constructed characters. Sophia is strong, smart and endearing; Luke is considerate and hard-working (and handsome!); Ira is romantic, thoughtful and completely unaware of his impact on other people's lives; Ruth (despite her presence not technically being there, I understood her character and saw her all the same) is passionate and although she's not as good with words as Ira clearly is, her love is still felt.

This novel is very country-orientated and I absolutely loved that about The Longest Ride. With every novel of his I learn something about a trade or interest I'd never thought too deeply about and in this novel, I learnt about looking after a ranch, bull riding and collecting art. The Longest Ride is so much more than an endearing love story; it's a battle with every aspect of life and the idea of morals and integrity too.

I fell in love with the relationships in the novel easily. One that particularly captured my heart was the relationship between Luke and his mother, Linda. You know when you meet someone and their parent and you can easily see something they have in common? With Luke and his mother, their hard-working attitude as well as their love of working hard because their ranch is important to them made them so similar. In turn, the way Luke protects her and the way Linda worries for him made their mother-son relationship lovely.

The Longest Ride is two love stories in one. With charm, sweetness and laughter, it is Nicholas Sparks, as usual, writing his at his best. As always in a Nicholas Sparks novel, there is a twist; something that makes you wonder how the novel is going to end.

So, as always, Nicholas Sparks left me feeling emotionally drained and happy as I cried. Have you read any Nicholas Sparks novel before?

Cowboy Hats & Country Music,

The Girl in the Moonlight.

Monday, 3 February 2014

"I'm Dieting," Says My Generation

In December I wrote THIS post where I experienced something that really cheered up my day and opened my eyes to the happy world rather than the slightly selfish one I was wrapped up in for a couple of hours. However all within an hour my view on the world wavered slightly. There was something I experienced that really disturbed me and made me feel quite gutted. First of all, though, when I was thinking about this post, I felt like the video I've embedded would portray another message that fits in well with the tone of this post.

In this video, the model, Cameron Russell outlines that "image is superficial." She says young aspiring models want to hear "if you were a little bit skinnier and you have shinier hair, you will be so happy and fabulous" and yet she is, after having accomplished this due to winning a "genetic lottery", insecure. The honesty of this video blew me away and made it completely clear that beauty is not defined by what you see on the tin. She exclaims that these girls asking her about modelling, longing to be in her position should want to be the president or other such roles. This speech has really stuck with me - she clearly proves herself have something important to say.

So, I'll tell you what happened.

I was in a bookstore and passed a girl that must have been no older than fourteen. She said to her friend, "I'm dieting and my mum doesn't know. I want to lose some weight."

I felt - and still feel - absolutely stunned. 

Synonymous with the age fourteen (or less and above) should be happiness and ease and comfort in the "difficult stage" of adolescence. That girl should not be worrying about her weight and counting calories and other such things that the idea of her doing made me want to perform a speech to her. It wasn't because she really didn't need to lose any weight that bothered me; it was that she should be focussing on building good friendships, learning about life and trying hard at school.

Obviously, when it comes to being healthy, it's a different story. Yet, even then, appearance is so unimportant.

I don't doubt for a second that other generations have had this concept in mind growing up: beauty is skinny and beauty is everything. However, I am for ever hearing people my age obsess over their weight and truly believe that they have to keep working to reach this perfect standard.

 There are two things I know:

- When it comes to beauty, inside or out, there is never set rules as to what defines it
- Success is not defined by beauty

Raindrops & Roses,

The Girl in the Moonlight.
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