Monday, 8 September 2014

Book Lust

Those of you familiar with my Youtube channel, will know that I'm a huge lover of pretty books. Book design is a thing I adore. I'm especially drawn to illustrated covers and typography. Luckily I'm also a classics lover since soooo many classics collections are utterly GORGEOUS. So today I thought I would share with you the beautiful books I'm currently lusting after in all their printed and bound glory.

DISCLAIMER - All Book Depository links to where you can find these gorgeous editions are affiliate links. :)

First up is this amazing edition of William Makepeace Thackeray's Vanity Fair. Delicate, feminine colours, hardcover format and the promise of illustrations within? I'm sold. This is stunning and one I've been drooling over for quite a time now...

This copy of Little Women from the Puffin in Bloom collection is probably the most recent treasure to catch my eye. Also included in the collection are A Little Princess, Anne of Green Gables and Heidi (all of whom I will eventually be adding to my collection).

Next up is one of the new releases from the Penguin Essentials collection. I've been a fan of the cute, compact and wonderfully designed Penguin Essentials collection for a while and was thrilled to find out they've added a few new titles to the collection. Needless to say I want them all but currently at the top of my list is Susan Hill's I'm the King of the Castle. The part adorable part creepy as hell cover has suckered me in and I look forward to making it a part of my beautiful book collection.

Onwards to another creepy yet appealing cover...
I've been enjoying Barbara Comyns work of late, having read both Our Spoons Came from Woolworths and Sisters by a River thanks to the Hachette imprint, Virago reprinting them last year but I haven't gotten around to picking up The Vet's Daughter Yet but even if I wasn't already in love with Comyns writing this stunning cover would be more than enough to draw me in. I mean, come one! Look at that thing. It really must be mine.

The Last book I want to show you today is one of the Norton editions of Wodehouse. The one I'm loving at the moment is Young Men in Spats. I adore these (once again) illustrated editions and I can say from the experience of owning others in this collection that they feel beautiful in your hand. Amazing quality pages and cover and I will not rest until I have ALL of these. Just lovely.

So what do you guys think of these editions? Do you love them as much as I do? What beautiful books have your heart all a flutter at the moment?

- Lesley xx

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Learning to love Bradley Whitford

Has there ever been an actor that you've seen in a bunch of similar and quite unlikeable roles who you assume you don't particularly like, only to have your perspective completely turned on its head by seeing them act in something fantastic?

One such actor for me is Bradley Whitford. For years I had seen Bradley pop up in films. Always as a supporting character. Always as kind of a dick. To me, he was "the weasel guy" (courtesy of his role in Billy Madison).

In late 2005/early 2006 I bought that first season of The West Wing on DVD and settled down to watch this show that I'd heard so many good things about. The credits rolled and I groaned upon discovering that the weasel known as Bradley Whitford was among the cast. Ten minutes later, I was converted. His character, Josh Lyman, was already my favourite (a distinction that would not change throughout the entire 7 seasons).

The West Wing showed me what Bradley Whitford could do with a fantastic script and likeable character. I've since come to appreciate his weasel like work in films but for me Bradley is such a wonderful television actor that I don't really mind if I never see him in another big screen role.

Since The West Wing's cancellation in 2006 Bradley has been a part of some other great television series, all of which have sadly only lasted one season. Studio 60, The Good Guys and Trophy Wife were all short lived but fantastic shows. The first two in particular still have me astounded at their brevity. Wonderful writing, acting and humor should have ensured them a longer run and I'm honestly still mourning their loss. I can only hope that whatever Bradley's next endeavour may be turns out to be a bigger ratings success than his last several ventures.

What do you think? Do you have an actor that you've completely changed your view about?

-Lesley x

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Rik Mayall 1958-2014

It was a little more than 24 hours ago now, that I heard of the sad passing of Rik Mayall. I'm stating the obvious when I say, I didn't know him personally. Nor did I know anyone else who knew him personally, but he has been in my consciousness for over a decade now, and he and the many wonderful comedic roles he has played are part of the tapestry of people, places and things that make up my interests and who I am as a result of them. 

Rik was a larger than life in your face caricature the majority of his public life and love it or hate it he was impossible to deny. Whenever he graced our screens, (be they big or small) eyes were on him. He made it impossible to look away. His style of comedy is what I like to think of as unapologetic ego. He was loud. He was silly. He was wonderful. I'm particularly fond of any work he did with his partner in entertainment crime, Ade Edmondson, but Rik was the kind of actor that I was always pleased to see pop up, especially when I wasn't expecting him. 

Rik will obviously be missed by the family and friends he left behind but it's a testament to his legacy, the amount of people who knew him only as The People's Poet, Lord Flashheart, Richie Richard or Drop Dead Fred that will feel his loss as well.

Goodbye Rik. The world may have lost you in body but we promise to hang on to your work as long as we can.


Saturday, 17 May 2014


As far as story telling goes, books are my medium of choice but to be honest, I will consume stories in any and all mediums I can find. I love them all and they all have their merits. I am a big fan of television. I love the flexibility of the medium and the way it lets you really get to know the characters. I just wanted to take the time to recommend some shows I've been watching recently.

1. Fargo is a brand new American drama that started this year. I believe it's only going to run for 10 episodes all up and I've only seen the first 3 so far but it is GOOD. As you may have picked up, the show is based on the 1996 movie of the same name. The show is set in the same universe as the film but doesn't follow the same plot or include the same characters. The humour; however, is just as dark and messed up as the movie and for that I am entirely grateful. The cast is what drew me in since it stars Martin Freeman and the always lovely Colin Hanks but it's the writing that has me hooked. I can't wait to see how this twisted and really rather violent story will unfold. I'm assuming it won't involve a wood chipper this time around but you never can tell.

2. QI is a quiz show I've been addicted to for years. Hosted by the ever wonderful Stephen Fry with regular guest Alan Davies and a string of other wonderful people coming and going it's no wonder why. I've seen every episode of this show so far mutiple times and whenever Morgan and I don't know what we're in the mood to watch this is one of the things we reach for first. If for some reason you haven't checked out this hilarious and really Quite Interesting (do you see what I did there?) show then I highly encourage you to do so.

3. Absolutely Fabulous is one of the most ridiculous and infuriating shows I've ever seen and I love it. After reading Jennifer Saunders memoir, Bonkers, recently I was in the mood for a rewatch. Currently in the middle of season 3 and Eddie and Patsy constantly make me crazy with their bullshit but it's a good kind of crazy. They are so hilariously alien that you can't help but laugh (even if it is sometimes with frustration).

4. Mad Men. The final season of this wonderful period drama is currently airing and I definitely have mixed feelings about it coming to an end. I'm curious to see what's going to happen and am sad there won't be anymore in a few short weeks but I'm excited to go back to the start and rewatch from the beginning once it's all over. The characters have come quite a way in the seven season's that it's been on tv and watching them from the start, knowing where it is each one of them ends up will be a completely separate experience. If you haven't tried Mad Men, definitely give it a go. Many of the characters are selfish and unlikable but something about it draws you in and makes you care or at the very least makes you interested to see what will happen next.

What shows have you been watching recently?

- Lesley

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang | Ian Fleming

Monday, 12 May 2014

National Book Bloggers Forum

Let me tell you about my morning. Actually lets go back to a bit over a week ago first: I was browsing around on the internet, looking up bookish things, as I am very much want to do, and I came across news that Random House and Penguin were holding the first National Book Bloggers Forum to coincide with the Sydney Writers Festival. I was (as I'm sure you can guess) extremely excited about this prospect. I immediately registered my interest at attending and sat back to await the response. Skip forward to this morning when I still hadn't heard any word but had heard of the possibility that vloggers weren't being included. Disappointed, I decided to email and double check for myself and GUESS WHAT!? Turns out that the lovely Kirsty over at Random House had in fact emailed me prior, letting me know I had a spot as long as I wanted it but through the wonders of the internet and my own personal incompetency, I hadn't received it. Kirsty, very sweetly, dealt with my ridiculous self and assured me that all was well and I was very welcome to attend the upcoming event.
Guys! This is exciting news! I am a huge Random House and Penguin fangirl, this you know. I was thrilled when the two wonderful publishers merged and if it means such wonderful events as this, my excitement can do nothing but grow. I will of course report in full detail the events of the day, probably through visual means but I may write up another blog post or two depending. But for now I only have one more thing to share with you.

This lovely little badge basically says it all. Thanks again Random House and Penguin for supporting the Australian Book Blogging and Vlogging community.


Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Currently Coveting #1

In the immortal words of Lily Allen, 'I am a weapon of massive consumption'. In honour of that sentiment these are the bits that I'm currently lusting over.

1. This adorable little Edgar Allan Poe print pouch is from one of my favourite online destinations, I often find myself stuck on their site, looking at all the wonderful literary merch but this Poe pouch is the thing my greedy little eyes most want at the moment.

2. I'm a huge fan of ankle boots and have been looking for a pair with a bit of a heel that don't look too difficult to walk in and this pair from Rubi Shoes seem ideal.

3. Makeup is not a department in which I lack. I already own more than I can easily use but I've had my eye on this gorgeous makeup palette from Too Faced Cosmetics for a little while now. I've tried other eyeshadows from this brand before and the quality has been wonderful and the colours in this palette are just too pretty so I will definitely be keeping an eye out for this beauty.

4. The last thing I'm guilty of coveting at the minute is this book from David A Price on the history of The Pixar animation studio. I'm a huge animation fan and while most of my interest is geared towards vintage animation, Pixar are responsible for my favourite modern animated features and shorts so reading a little bit more about their process and how they've become so internationally successful sounds like a fun use of time to me.

If you enjoy this kind of post, please let me know! They're a lot of fun to write. :)



Monday, 5 May 2014

Hugh Laurie, Letting it Rain

This weekend I was lucky enough to have tickets to see Hugh Laurie and The Copper Bottom Band in one of my all time favourite venues, Newcastle's Civic Theatre. If you follow Hugh Laurie's vast and varied career, you'll know that he often gets a chance to show off his musical talents in his acting roles but the last few years he's been putting in the extra hours and has so far released two fantastic bluesy cover albums, Let Them Talk and Didn't It Rain. Being a fan of the albums and of Hugh Laurie in general my boyfriend and I jumped at the chance to see Laurie and his band perform live. Expectations were high but I'm thrilled to report that they were far exceeded.

Hugh Laurie and the Copper Bottom Band was one of the best live shows I've ever been lucky enough to witness and I've been to more than my share in my short 27 years. By the end of the 2.5 hour performance my hands, throat and cheeks were numb from clapping, cheering and smiling practically non stop.

This is the part where I'd love to share the highlights with you but the whole damn thing was one giant high. The only low was when Hugh and the band finally disappeared off the stage for good after two wonderful encores.

The incredible Mr Laurie was a ball of inspiring energy the entire time. He was smart, witty, sarcastic, sincere and utterly ridiculous at times. It was hard to tear your eyes off him but tear you must because the rest of the band were just too impressively entertaining to be denied. The seven piece, Copper Bottom Band were seven of the best musicians I've ever witnessed. Their talent, their presence and their incredible ability to really 'perform' for their audience was more than I would have ever have dared to hope for. Saturday night will easily go down as one of the best I have ever spent. If you're a fan of Hugh Laurie and truly wonderful music please do check out his two wonderful albums. They are certainly worth the time.


Saturday, 12 April 2014

That's right, I have a blog don't I?

Oh, hi! Remember me? Don’t bother answering, you will only hurt my feelings. Once again I’ve been away from this here blog for quite some time. I never intend to leave but one day turns into two and suddenly months have passed. I suppose I should address the lipstick challenge I was previously doing…I stopped. *insert some kind of sheepish but overall not too guilty face here* Lazyness overcame me and It just stopped. I did think it was a good idea to get me to use all those under utilised lipsticks in my collection and I still do but I’m just going to do it in a much less formal capacity because, you know what? Makeup is meant to be fun. Adding rules to it somewhat takes away that fun, spontaneous and creative aspect of it. So back I go to slapping whatever I feel like it on my lips. The project did end up serving its purpose though; I have pulled myself out of the rut I was in of just wearing the same two lipsticks over and over again, so I’m going to call it a success regardless. 

Well there you go, this is me attempting to recommit once again to my poor neglected blog. I really do what to write on here much more often. Since that is what I want I shall have to make sure that it actually happens this time (as opposed to all the other times I’ve said such things but then decided that a nap sounded a much more appealing prospect).

I hope all you lovely people are well and being more productive than my somewhat rubbish self. Wishing you all the most charming of weekends.

-     - Lesley

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

LC #5 - Toxic Tale from MAC

I'm getting later and later with these lipstick posts. Rest assured that I am switching things up every Sunday it's just the blogging part I'm being lazy with. :/

This week, in an attempt to embrace Summer (spoiler: it's not working...) I picked out one of my very brightest lipsticks. This is from MAC's Venomous Villians Disney collection from 2011 and it's called Toxic Tale. The packaging has the Evil Queen from Snow White on it and I'm not even going to try to pretend that wasn't the only reason I purchased it. The colour itself is a very pretty VERY bright pink/coral. It's definitely not my normal lipstick colour. I feel utterly out of my comfort zone while wearing it but I am glad to pull it out of the darkness of my lipstick drawer and give it some attention. Glad that I'll only be wearing it for a week though. Any longer and I might start to question myself. haha



What do all these lovely people have in common?

I'm not much of an audiobook listener. I'm just not. I have serious trouble paying attention. 40 minutes pass before it occurs to me that I have literally no idea what just happened and I have to rewind only to find I once again didn't pay attention. It simply doesn't work for me. I have recently wondered if it might work better for me with books I'm already familiar with and through limited experiment, I think that it does. There are a lot of great audiobooks out there of books I've already read and loved and I would really like to start using audiobooks as my go to means of re-reading books.

During my search for wonderfully read and produced audiobooks, I came across a goldmine I never knew existed. Roald Dahl's back catalog of children's stories seems to be an eternally wonderful rabbit hole into which I long to dive. There are quite a few of his stories that have been read by the man himself, recorded for cassette when he was still alive but there is also a huge selection of stories read by some of my favourite British actors (some of which are pictured above). I have yet to drop the dollars to acquire these but rest assured they are on my wishlist!


Monday, 27 January 2014

LC #4 - Salacious by Illamasqua

Starting out week four, I was in want of a matte lip. Illamasqua's Salacious was an easy choice. Illamasqua has one of the best matte lipstick formulas I've ever tried and this colour is gorgeous. It may not be the most unique red in my collection but it is probably one of the most classic ones. Salacious is a deep blue based red, guaranteed to make your teeth look white as well as add a touch of class to almost any look. It's pretty tough to go wrong with a matte red lip but this one in particular will be a pleasure to wear all week. I should also admit I was getting a little tired of Viva Glam Cyndi towards the end there. Definitely glad for the change. 

Sunday, 19 January 2014

LC #3 - MAC's Viva Glam Cyndi

Week three and I needed to move back to a red lip. I settled on Cyndi from MAC's Viva Glam line. This was limited edition and can unfortunately no longer be found but it's essentially a red for those who are a little shy of a proper red lipstick. I got this when I was one of those people and it really helped me get use to the colour on me in a 'safe' way. It's a neutral mid toned red and it's actually pretty sheer. It's not a lipstick I've given a lot of love to in the past year or so, so I thought now would be the perfect time to rekindle the spark. At least I hope that's how it turns out. At this point it could go either way...I may end up really enjoying wearing this all week or on the other hand I could get frustrated with the lack of punch this lipstick holds and long for something a little more impactful. We'll see.

- Lesley

Friday, 17 January 2014

In response to the changing attitudes of Booktube

Booktube is my favourite little corner of the internet. Let that be known. I’ve been making videos as part of this community for two years now. I was nowhere near one of the first to do this and there have been hundreds more since me. Booktube is an ever growing, ever evolving beast. I, personally, have no idea where it will end up. The main, most populated fragment of booktube is taken up by creators, readers and followers of Young Adult fiction. 

This is not where I fit in. 

I read and then subsequently make my videos about Adult fiction, whether it be classics, genre or literary varieties. I also read a healthy slice of Children’s (or middle grade) fiction as well as some non-fiction. These are the kind of books I wish to fill my life with. I am not the only booktuber who dedicates the majority of their time to Adult Fiction. There are many of us and our numbers grow all the time. I get so excited every time I find a new booktuber who reads predominantly Adult Fiction. It’s only natural that I would want to watch people discuss books who have somewhat similar tastes to my own. 

At the moment, Booktube is a relatively safe creative space. The majority of our community (both the content creators and the viewers) are sweet, friendly, intelligent people who have the good sense to only give constructive criticism where criticism is needed. Very rarely are people out right cruel or insensitive. Mostly if someone doesn’t like something, the worst they’ll do is give a video a thumbs down and not continue to watch, which is obviously a perfectly valid and measured response. 

Other communities on Youtube are not as lucky. I often see cruel, hateful and ignorant comments running rampant on both Beauty and Vlog channels. People saying the kind of things that shock and sadden me. I’m often surprised someone could feel so viciously about someone they know very little about in the first place, let alone feel the need to maliciously voice those opinions to the virtual equivalent of that person’s face. 

As the numbers of the Booktube community grow, so do our chances of attracting the cruel and ignorant into our ranks. This can’t be helped but as long as the majority of us continue to be supportive, positive, kind people we will continue to thrive as we share our love of books and reading with each other and the internet as a whole. Don’t get discouraged, Booktube. We’re only young yet, but we are strong. Be kind to each other.

- Lesley. x

Sunday, 12 January 2014

LC #2 - Wild Orchid from Revlon

 Week one of my Lipstick Challenge went beautifully. I loved getting some use out of my beautiful Chanel lipstick in Cambon but I was definitely excited to pick out my next weekly shade this morning. I ended up choosing a little worn Revlon shade of mine called Wild Orchid. This beautiful fuchsia lipstick is stunning in the tube and on my lips but I rarely pick it out of my collection due to the blue/purple sheen that runs through it. I'm always a little hesitant, thinking it will end up looking way too over the top but as you can tell from this picture the sheen is pretty subdued on the lips. I've heard tell that this shade is also a dupe for Mac's Show Orchid lipstick but I don't own that one to compare. This lipstick is certainly less of an everyday shade for me so it will be interesting to see how I last a week without being able to default to my old standby, the red lip.
A few of you have shown interest in joining in on this challenge and I think that's wonderful! If you too have trouble using more then one or two select lipsticks in your collection please feel free to join in this effort to utilise our lipsticks, whether you want to document the experience or not. :D


Saturday, 11 January 2014

It has it all.

A lot of you know that I'm a huge fan of classic Hollywood. I of course have my favourite actors, directors and studios from that era two of which being Alfred Hitchcock and Cary Grant. Lucky for me the pair made several films together. Arguably the best and certainly the best known is North by Northwest. I originally saw this near perfect piece of cinema a couple of years ago and have watched it several times since, including last week. Cary Grant, while not exactly at his youngest in this film is still superb. He is handsome, charming and playful. All the things you expect from Grant in general but he is also cunning, wise and wary. He pulls off the role of Roger Thornhill (a advertising executive mistaken for the fictional CIA agent, George Kaplan) perfectly. He plays the part of the wrongfully accused in such a refreshingly atypical way, that it's near impossible not to mesmerised. The mystery, the romance, the action and the humor are doled out in thrilling doses to create potentially the most memorable film I have ever had the joy of watching. If you have yet to experience this wonderful moment in time for yourself then I strongly urge you to take the plunge. I guarantee whatever your expectations are, they shall be surpassed.


Sunday, 5 January 2014

LC #1 - Chanel's Rouge Coco in Cambon

To kick start my lipstick I thought I'd go with one of my favourites. I'm a big red lipstick lover. I can wear red everyday and never get sick of it. It's classic, it's chic and no matter how I'm feeling it always manages to brighten up my face and make me look just that little bit more lively. The majority of my reds; however, are darker, deeper and all together more sultry. I personally love shades like that for their versatility. They look great used at full strength but can be sheered out if you're not feeling quite as bold that day. Cambon is not one of those shades. It's paler and brighter than most of my reds and it definitely has a hint of pink to it. I especially love this shade for the Summer time (of which I am currently and quite unfortunately stuck within).

I'm also a fan of the Rouge Coco formula. While not my favourite type of lipstick from Chanel, they are comfortable and hydrating to wear. They also have a slight sheen which can be nice but more often than not I'll blot that away with a tissue in favor of a slightly longer wear time. 

In all I don't think it will be much of an effort to stick to this beautiful little tube of confidence for the next week. In fact, it may even be hard to say goodbye.


Thursday, 2 January 2014

2014 Lipstick Challenge

I am a massive lipstick junkie. This is not a surprise to most people. The problem is I don't wear the majority of my lipsticks on a daily basis. Usually I just wear the same 2 or 3 colours and they're not even my favourites! I just don't know what is wrong with me. So this year I decided to challenge myself to choose a different lipstick every week and only wear that lipstick. I don't wear makeup everyday but on the days I do wear makeup I'll have to make use of whatever lipstick I chose on the previous Sunday. I'm not much of a fan of paler lipsticks, although I do own a couple, so on the weeks that a paler lipstick has been chosen I'm going to be mixing things up with different coloured lipliners. Starting this Sunday you'll see my first lipstick post and I'll keep you guys updated with my weekly lipstick choices complete with on lip swatches. YAY! I'm excited to get to play around with my lipsticks more and make sure they all get some use this year because what's the point of having them if they don't get to enjoy the sunlight every once in a while?

-Lesley. xx

December Reads

Happy New Year!

Well it's the 2nd of January and while very little has happened so far I'm determined to enjoy 2014. Started the new year by celebrating with a bunch of good people, food and wine and just got back from seeing The Hobbit. Even if I don't think these movies are as good as The Lord of the Rings trilogy it's always lovely visiting middle earth and am glad to have The Hobbit as the first cinema trip of the year.

It's unbearably hot today (damn you Australian summer!) so I think it's time for a glass of something cold and a few chapters of Jane Eyre, which I'm reading for the first time. Is anyone even remotely surprised that I'm already in love with it?

I thought not.

Hope you're all having a lovely New year thus far and that it will continue on in a wonderful fashion.

- Lesley