Author Archives

Helen

How to write a novel – the practicalities of notes

In January, a lot people who feel they have a novel in them make it their resolution to get it written; so I thought now would be a good time to write this blog post at it might be helpful. I am currently writing my fourth book (only one published (so far!)) and I think I’ve finally worked out the best way to go about organising my work. This is what suits me the most, so will probably not be helpful to anyone who’s all modern and does everything on the computer, or even on your phone. I’m a long-hand kind-of gal and so notebooks have always featured rather heavily in my writing planning. However this time is slightly different….

Musings and ramblings, Writing,

Review of the L’Oreal Voluminous Superstar Mascara

On holiday in America in 2015 I bought the L’Oreal Beauty Tubes mascara. This was amazing, but when I went back last year, I couldn’t find it again. Instead, L’Oreal had this mascara, called Voluminous Superstar. It is one of those mascaras with two ends – a white coat first to lengthen your lashes and then the actual mascara to go over the top. This was just what I was looking for as I’ve liked those kind ever since I bought the Maybelline XXL volume mascara. (See my review here from 2005)……

Beauty, Lifestyle,

Weekly Wardrobe – My first jeggings!

Yes, that’s right. I have never owned a pair of skinny jeans or jeggings before; however I have been so desperate for comfy trousers for winter, I have succumbed! I have short legs and chunky thighs, but I’ve been working on my squats and lunges, and have decided fu*k it, who cares anyway if they don’t look brilliant – I need to keep my legs warm! So I bought these in the Next sale and have decided they actually look alright with a long jumper. By the way, snow was gently falling outside when these photos were taken and I was too chicken to brave the cold. So I’m afraid these photos are not up our usual quality as we’re inside on a dark winter day…..

Fashion, Lifestyle, Style Inspiration,

3 days in new york – Day 1. The story of the photographs

Oh dear, I had trouble narrowing down the number of photos of New York to include to make it a reasonable length blog post! We did a hell of a lot each day, so I had to include enough to illustrate that, and I managed to get it down to fifteen photos, which I thoroughly enjoyed preparing. By the way, I should explain that this is the first post about the epic holiday our family went on last July. (I’ve had so many blog post ideas that it’s taken me this long to get to it!) I’ve decided that pictures speak a thousand words, so these are mainly going to be photography based travel blog posts, rather than tonnes of information provided. However, if you’d like more information about anything I mention, please just ask in the comments – I’ve got a box full of leaflets and tickets and a detailed diary to refer to.

Art and craft, Photography, Places to visit, Travel,

What shall I get him for Valentine’s Day?

Men are so difficult to buy for aren’t they? I’ve been with my guy for twenty-five years now, and trying to think of something to buy him for Valentine’s Day doesn’t get any easier. I was pretty impressed with myself last year as I bought him a nickel skate-board (well, a cheaper version of the real thing anyway); I thought it was something a bit different and he’d mentioned he’d quite like one. This year, I’m a bit stumped. He doesn’t want any novelty or display items because he’s run out of places to put things like that in his study. So while I was looking around, I thought I’d share some of my favourite gift ideas that might help you out as well…..

Art and craft, Gift ideas and buying guides,

Late January Sales shopping – Next, New Look, Joe Browns, Joules & Weird Fish

I don’t like crowds; particularly in the shops when the January sales start. However, I absolutely LOVE a bargain! So, if I have the funds, I would sometimes go shopping the first week the kids had gone back to school, so at least I wouldn’t be fighting with them along the sales rails! Lately though, I haven’t specifically gone out of my way to go shopping in the sales, but I passed by New Look the other day and bought a couple of things. Then I was seduced by the Joe Browns catalogue that appeared on my doorstep, so I bought a couple of things from there online. Then, I was at Clark’s Village in Street to look for boots for Chris, when I ended up buying a few things there. Ooops!….

Fashion, Lifestyle, Style Inspiration,

Monthly Memoir – January ’17

We’ve done it! We’ve successfully reached the end of January! I hope it hasn’t been too bad for you all, and you have managed to stay warm enough through that cold snap! We’ve been piling on the logs in the Rayburn, but have been topping up the heat in the evenings with electric heaters and layering on the jumpers and blankets! I actually like the beginning of January; I allow myself a little time to get over Christmas and make plans for the year ahead. Planning is fun. It’s when the actual work begins things start feeling a bit crap. Don’t get me wrong – I love my work – well, I love 50% of my work. Unfortunately the other 50% is admin, advertising and accounts, which I don’t love. So it’s more important than ever that I look back on my highlights, favourites and things I’m grateful for this month……

Musings and ramblings, Writing,

Weekly Wardrobe – floppy hat & maxi skirt

Hello everyone! There’s one good thing about all this crappy weather: it’s great for portrait photography! The misty dreary drizzle diffuses the light beautifully and makes me look amazing (even if I do say so myself) haha! Seriously though, if you’d like a nice outdoor photo of yourself, now’s the time to do it.
I love it when you remember something in your wardrobe that you’ve forgotten about for a while. I can’t believe I haven’t worn this floppy hat all winter, but I thought it would go perfectly with the rest of the outfit and also add some much needed colour…..

Fashion, Lifestyle, Style Inspiration,

10 ideas to help you get through the day

I’m writing this on the dreariest January day ever with rain pouring down and freezing cold hands; it’s barely surprising that we are likely to feel depressed at this time of year. Some are lucky enough to only feel low in spirits every now and then, while others suffer with melancholia so bad they lose hope of never feeling that way again. The best way to deal with those times is usually distraction. By all means, take a little time to yourself if you need it, but then I think the best thing to do is find something else to keep your mind occupied. Here are some ideas…..

Musings and ramblings, Writing,

Lensbaby Trio 28 lens Review – The story of the photographs at Tyntesfield Manor

This was the biggest surprise Christmas present I’ve had! I didn’t even know about this lens, so I was amazed that not only it exists, but it fits my little mirrorless micro four thirds camera, the Panasonic GM1! One of my favourite photographers is Emily Soto – I adore the soft focus effects of her portraits, but without the equipment, I’ve had to try and emulate the style in post-processing, which I haven’t had the time yet to learn properly. Now, I have a lens that does it for me, and even better, there are three lenses in one!….

Art and craft, Equipment reviews, Photography,