Film Review: You’re Not You

Yesterday, I started a blog post series about reviews of books with the life of a character with disabilities as their focus and last night we saw You’re Not You. I immediately wanted to see it as I never had before.

The film is about Kate (Hilary Swank) whose marriage is on the rocks. Kate has ALS and starts looking around for a caregiver. Bec (played by Emmy Rossum) a college student,  turns up at her house and, after a trial period, gets the job.

From then on, we see Kate’s journey in life and with ALS and the  bond  between her and Bec. I immediately identified with some parts, the happiness of getting on with someone who cares for you and also the more difficult times when the relationship seems to be in trouble. The film confirms all the good things I know personally about having someone you trust as a caregiver. That it gives security and there’s always someone to talk to. That a bond like this requires trust on both sides.

The film is very “real” as it shows those awkward moments when a new carer starts to work and the difficult task of having to explain what you beed to them and boping they will do their job how you need them to.

It shows how sometimes relationships can be affected and how if the caregiver really does their job well, they will be there for you whatever hapens.

You’re  Not You is a very realistic and well-acted film with happy and sad parts. It confirmed what I know about ALS but also taught me more. After Hilary Swank’s role in Million Dollar Baby, which is one of our favourite movies, this shows that she is an incredibly talented actress with a natural flair to make emotional, captivating films.

I was intrigued by Bec’s character and proud of her in her decision to go for the caregiving job. In my experience, that shows she had a very human, giving side and is something I have rarely known students to do in real life because of the responsibility outside university life. I did have a carer myself in the past whose son helped out at a care home so I know some people are more inclined towards wanting to help in this way. I encourage it.

Overall, You’re Not You made an impact on both of us and is well worth a watch.

4 stars





Disabled Characters in Books: House Rules by Jodi Picoult

I had an idea today to post reviews of books I love that have the life of a person with disabilities as part of its plot and/ or a main character (MC) with disabilities. I have drafted novels of my own and always include at least one character with a disability as I notice that there aren’t many books like this on the market. 

About House Rules:

They tell me I’m lucky to have a son who’s so verbal, who is blisteringly intelligent, who can take apart the broken microwave and have it working again an hour later. They think there is no greater hell than having a son who is locked in his own world, unaware that there’s a wider one to explore. But try having a son who is locked in his own world, and still wants to make a connection. A son who tries to be like everyone else, but truly doesn’t know how. 
Jacob Hunt is a teenage boy with Asperger’s syndrome. He’s hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, and like many kids with AS, Jacob has a special focus on one subject — in his case, forensic analysis. He’s always showing up at crime scenes, thanks to the police scanner he keeps in his room, and telling the cops what they need to do…and he’s usually right. But then his town is rocked by a terrible murder and, for a change, the police come to Jacob with questions. All of the hallmark behaviors of Asperger’s — not looking someone in the eye, stimulatory tics and twitches, flat affect — can look a lot like guilt to law enforcement personnel. Suddenly, Jacob and his family, who only want to fit in, feel the spotlight shining directly on them. For his mother, Emma, it’s a brutal reminder of the intolerance and misunderstanding that always threaten her family. For his brother, Theo, it’s another indication of why nothing is normal because of Jacob. And over this small family the soul-searing question looms: Did Jacob commit murder?
Emotionally powerful from beginning to end, House Rules looks at what it means to be different in our society, how autism affects a family, and how our legal system works well for people who communicate a certain way — and fails those who don’t.

So, here’s what I thought of House Rules: 

Jacob Hunt, a teen with Asperger’s syndrome.can’t read social cues or expreess himself well to others, well.There is one thing above all else that is truly fascinating to him and holds all his attention- forensic analysis. A police scanner in his room clues him in to crime scenes, and he’s always showing up and telling the cops what to do. And he’s usually right.
One day, Jacob’s small hometown is rocked by a terrible murder. Jacob’s behaviors are hallmark Asperger’s, but are they guilt? Immediately, the Hunt family, are directly in the spotlight. For Jacob’s mother, Emma, it’s a brutal reminder of the intolerance and misunderstanding that always threaten her family. For his brother, Theo, it’s another indication why nothing is normal because of Jacob.
And over this small family, the soul-searing question looms: Did Jacob commit murder?
I found this in my bookcase and was amazed I still had not read it, I love Jodi Picoult’s style. The depth of emotion, suspense and also research about Asperger’s had me riveted! The book goes some way to raise awareness of Asperger’s and I liked the way it was woven into the plot without detracting from, or swamping, the story. After all, Jacob is Jacob. The Hunt family and secondary characters are all very realistically portrayed. Another hit fron Jodi Picoult!

Primark Glitter Obsessed Palette For Only 1€

Took another trip up to Primark today because I wanted a look at what was in store since the last time we had been. What a change there was! On a day when the maximum temperature was set to reach 35°C, it was very strange to see the AW2018 clothing collection in store already- fur jackets, slippers long-sleeved shirts and winter jackets were all over the store. I checked the shoe section but it was full of either winter boots, incredibly flat flats or too-high (for me) heels. Not very interesting.

I’m so glad I bought the 3 pairs of sandals that I got during my last visit because they were nowhere to be seen and there were quite a few pairs when I was there last.

On to the main  reason for my visit: PS Custom Eyes eyeshadows. If you read my last Primark post, you’ll know I bought the 9-pan palette and 4 single eyeshadows. Well, today I was really disappointed as there were only 2 shades left, and I have them both (Hot Coco, a dark brown shade and Gold Digger, a light-medium gold). In fact there were about 15 Hot Coco shadows and 4 Gold Digger ones. I was SO disappointed as I had planned to buy another 5 shades to complete my palette. I was actually thinking 6 so I had 6 different colours but the spaces where they were meant to be were completely empty.

The store had new display stands for all the makeup and beauty  products and had rearranged everything  to do with these products which was very confusing as it took us awhile to find them.

There, next to the Custom Eyes range, were the palettes I had heard so much about from bloggers and YouTubers alike: The Glitter Obsessed palette range. They did not have the Glitter Obsessed: Gold Rush palette but they did have the Glitter Obsessed: Unicorn Sparkle one. I have heard mixed reviews about them and especially the Unicorn Sparkle one which I saw a video for last night. The Unicorn Sparkle palette is a mix of alternating rows of shimmery glitter shadows and glitter eye creams and I was not impressed by the colour range on the videos so bypassed that one. For those of you who are interested in it, it costs £4/€5. I have SO many shimmery shadows and so was looking for straight-up glitter shadows all through the palette.

A palette that has more time in Primark’s PS makeup range is the Glitter Obsessed Palette. I have seen a TON of videos and articles about this one and thought it loked very eye-catching on first glance, with dark and lighter colours. The formula is “eye cream,” which basically means it is glitter mixed with a kind of vaseline-type texture. I already have experience of this type of product in Wet ‘n’ Wild’s Glitter Mono Eye Shadows, so I had some idea what I was buying but wanted to see what Primark’s take on this type of product would be like.

The packaging is white plastic with a clear lid so all the shadows are clearly visible There are 28 shades and it costs €6 usually. I was searching through the palettes and saw some red stickers. Primark only uses red stickers if something is on sale, and… was down from 6€ to……JUST €1!!! Not all the palettes were on sale so I had to search, but, yes, there it was, the red sticker. How amazing is that? 28 shadows for €1.

I’m really looking forward to trying this but know from experience and other blog posts/ videos that this will probably be better used layered on top of a matte shadow if the glitter is going to separate out (as I found with Wet ‘n’ Wild’s shadows which I still have to review). But, even so, this palette is a STEAL for 1€. Cannot wait to try it and so this week I am bringing my Sunday with a Sassy Shopaholic post forward a day. Swatches coming soon when I have opened the palette.

Have you tried the palette? What do you think?





Book Review: Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Nothing But Reading Challenges Goodreads Group Book of the Month (BOM) listen August 2018.

I enjoyed The Girl on the Train a lot, so was familiar with Paula Hawkins’ style. I downloaded the epub online and had my ipad’s VoiceOver read it out to me.

This is a very twisty thriller about a small town with a river running through it, Sounds pretty idyllic, doesn’t it? Oh, and the town has a dark past. The Drowning Pool was the scene of a death and the first time it shocked the people living in the town. Then, a mother and daughter are found dead in the same pool. There’s a lot of investigation into the deaths and the plot is enhanced by the family and life struggles of the large cast of characters.

Into the Water has an excellent pace to it and there’s also a paranormal aspect with talk of witches. The plot definitely unsettled and intrigued me in equal parts and this is a real page-turner not to be missed!

As I listened to this, I, as well as all the others doing this group session, had to answer some questions. The session for this book ran from the 2nd August 2018 onwards. Here are my answers:

DQs PART ONE Days 1&2

1. Assuming most of you read The Girl on the Train or at least heard about it, what did you expect going into Into The Water? Have your expectations been met so far?

I did listen to Girl on The Train and enjoyed it. I heard a lot of hype about Into the Water and am enjoying it so far. Suspense, great pace and interesting characters and plot.

2. When Jules was first told about Nel, she was relieved for a moment, because it was no one she ‘cared about’. Then she was angry. What to you think happened between the sisters that drove them apart so badly that Jules doesn’t even properly know her niece? Not sure what would have driven them apart, but wondering if we will find out. How has this introduction formed your first opinion of Jules? I am curious to find out more about Jules and Nel and what happened between them. I think maybe Nel holds a grudge easily but need more information to form an opinion.

3. Katie’s sudden death understandably was very hard on her family. Her mum took pills upon pills to numb the pain, but “after a while she came to grasp that the horror of rediscovering her daughter’s absence, over and over again, was not worth the hours of oblivion.” What are your thoughts on this quote? And where do you think Louise vanishes to in the middle of the night? I’m wondering why she took the pills in the first place if they did not help. Nothing really helps the pain of losing a loved one. No idea yet where Louise has gone and why but looking forward to finding out.

4. Into The Water is told from quite a lot of different perspectives. Do you think this adds to the story, or does it make things more complicated? Does it affect your reading flow? It adds to the story for me and helps the pace. I like the alternate chapters as feel I get an insight into what each character thinks, feels and experiences.

5. Nickie Sage claims to be a psychic and sees or at least feels things that others don’t. Why do you think has the author, Paula Hawkins, included this character? Do you think she actually is important to the story, or could it be told without Nickie? Do you personally believe in the occult like tarot readings and seances? I think she included Nickie Sage to try and guide the others through what’s happening to each of the charcters. Or maybe something will happen to her. I think there are people who have a gift for tarot.

6. Nel was working on a book on the Drowning Pool before she passed away. Do you get her obsession with the river, and is this the only reason so many people from Beckford seem to have disliked her? Would you personally choose to read a book like hers? She seems quite an unlikeable person from the outset. I do understand her obsession with the river. She may have done something bad for people to dislike her so much.

7. Finally, it’s time for theories. It seems to be very likely that Katie’s and Nel’s deaths are connected in one way or another. What do you think happened, who are your prime suspects? I do not have a suspect yet. I prefer to see what happens.

DQs days 3&4

1.Mark found the bracelet that Nel was wearing in Helen’s desk. Did Helen have something to do with Nel’s death or at least knows what happened?

I think Patrick murdered Nel and that Helen had an affair with him. He may or may not have let on about his plans. Or she could have been more involved.
2. Lena is angry that the officers are not asking the correct questions. Why isn’t she willing to tell them what they need to know? Why does Lena refuse to betray Katie? What are Josh and Lena hiding? Is it fair for Lena to force Josh keeping the secret?

Lena is still so immature about everything. She seems to want to keep Katie’s secret but I do not really believe Katie would have killed herself. Maybe Lena has more to hide than we think, or Katie did have other things to hide and Lena keeping Katie’s secret is about protecting herself too….

Not sure what Josh and Lena could be hiding. Katie’s gone, I’m not sure that this is fair of Lena. Makes me think there is more to the whole thing than meets the eye if Lena is acting like this, but I will have to keep going with the book to find out. Really enjoying it so far.

3. I am curious about Patrick. It seems there’s more to him than just an old man with lapses of memory. He tells Helen that he never moved because he has work to do. What work does that?

There is definitely something he is guilty of. Either that, or Nickie is imagining the things her sister Jeannie has supposedly told her.

4. So, we find out that Patrick’s wife was Nicki’s sister. I am curious of the secrets that she knows, especially since it seems like she does have a real gift with ghosts. It seems no one takes her seriously. Will the officers listen/believe her?

Jeannie worked with him, so would know of things that her boss did. Maybe Nickie is imagining the whole thing though. I think she will say or do something to unravel the whole mystery.

5. Jules is dealing with issues of her past now that she is home. Is that skewing her views when she saw Robbie at Nel’s funeral? Also, with finding the letter LS on the mirror, do you think it is a ghost or Lena messing with Jules?

I don’t think anyone is messing with Jules. She’s back in the place where her estranged sister just died; she feels guilty, There are a lot of nasty memories hunting her and it is understandable she would see things.

DQs days 5&6

1. How are we feeling so far? I know at this point, I was 100% invested in this story and totally annoyed that I had little to no answers thus far. How about you? Do you love the mystery? Is it driving you nutty? Have you thrown the book?

I am really enjoying the mystery and suspense in the book. The way there is so much intrigue, such a detailed plot and so many twists and turns. Everyone is involved/ guilty in some way.

2. Mark. Mark. Mark. Personally, I hated him the first moment he was mentioned. He just struck me as phony. Now, that you’ve really had a chance to get the full brunt of his story- how do you feel about him? Innocent bystander that was sucked in? Man in love/lust? Or did he deserve alllll the things that come his way?

Mark was a terrible and selfish person for taking advantage of Katie. He claims to have fallen in love with her, but was very quick to dismiss her when he got scared that Nel was going to tell someone about them. After Katie died, he made sure he got rid of any trace of her in his house. He was only thinking of himself. Someone who loved a person who died would not be so quick to do this. There is nothing good about him at all.

3. Let’s talk Robbie Cannon for a moment. Jules has quite the revelation in this part of the book. Did you feel it was needed for the story?

I do think it was needed. Jules needed to know that her sister did not know that it was Robbie who raped her. Now this paves the way for Jules to move on and forgive her sister.

4. This book, much like Girl on the Train has a whole mess of fantastic female characters. Did you have a favorite? (Team Lena here! )

Nickie was my favourite character. Lena seemed complicated but interesting and I just felt that Nickie had fewer issues and I liked the paranormal element surrounding her character, it gave the book an interesting twist. I felt Lena was overly harsh and dramatic at times but was still an interesting character.

5. Erin seems to be completely blindsided by the twists and turns of this case. If this was you, would you continue to be a police officer/detective or run for the hills?

Erin struck me as a bad police officer really. Her or her superior should have informed her more about the town/case so she was a little more prepared. I think another officer should have been assigned to the case.

6. And now, the biggest question of all, did you see that ending coming? I was 100% shocked and am still recovering even two weeks after finishing this book.

The ending really took me by surprise. Great plot twist and a surprise reveal. This has ranked Into the Water overall better than Girl on the Train for me. Excellent book and I would recommend it.

Makeup from the States

I’ve been looking forward to this post, and am glad the time for it is finally here. I want to show you the makeup my parents bought me on a recent holiday to the USA. Sephora is one of my favourite all-time stores for beauty and I had these items on my birthday/ Christmas list already since about last year so, I asked if they would be going anywhere near a Sephora store on their travels. The answer was “maybe,” so I thought well, I’ll ask anyway, can’t hurt to ask. 

The products are from the Sephora Collection Lip Stories range of lipsticks. I have a lot of lipsticks, and saw these and just thought they were so cute. The packaging is designed and made in Italy. They are $8 USD each (€8.99).

I LOVE purple, and always look out for this colour in makeup. One of the first lipsticks that caught my attention was the lipstick in Desert Trip. The original packaging with the purple tones and the cactus print is just so ME.


The Next tone, Golden Gate, is also very eye-catching. I really like the Golden Gate Bridge design


The next shade, Somewhere in Spain, was a shade that is not available in Sephora in Europe so I was very glad mum found it for me in the US. I love everything Spanish-themed and do not have many nude lipsticks so wanted to give this a try.




The last product is a palette from my favourite brand- Urban Decay (or simply UD as we beauty addicts refer to it).

The palette is the Moondust Palette and it was released in 2017. There are 8 glitter shadows in this one, and I have heard that the colour payoff (contrast) is amazing compared to other glitter palettes in many ranges, both cheaper and high-end brands.  This retails  for $49 USD (€49). It costs £36 in House of Fraser.




I’m always a little reluctant to break into new makeup for the first time as it is so new and beautiful, so swatches of all these products will be coming very soon 🙂










Review: Sephora Glitter Guard Eyeshadow Primer

I’ve been a fan of eyeshadow primers for years now and it was not until some months ago that I bought a glitter eyeshadow primer. 

This is from Sephora Collection at Sephora and it cost me 5€ on sale last year. 

I wish I’d have got 2 tubes because there is only 10ml of product and  I’m using it every day recently. It lasts a long time and easily gets my makeup through the day. 

The applicator dispenses the right amount of product and the texture is creamy and soft. 

Unfortunately I could not find it online when I looked recently but I’m glad I tried it. I love Urban Decay eyeshadow primer too and have one. I have seen glitter primers in cheaper brands such as Makeup Revolution. 

Verdict: 9/10 as application is not via an applicator. Wish the product was still available. 

Other products used today:

MUA Glitterball Eyeshadow Palette 

I used the dark grey colour. This palette has no shadow names. 

Kiko Luxurious Lashes Waterproof Mascara 

Makeup Geek Kiss to Make Up Lipstick 

Makeup Revolution Pro Fix Oil Control Fixing Spray. 

Reviews for each of these products coming soon. 

Caring Hand and Body Lotions by Cien (Lidl) 

I’ve been waiting to post this because I finished my Argan Oil hand  and body lotion some weeks ago (it lasted months). I am always on the look out for a good moisturising, yet well-priced hand cream. When I saw the Caring Hand and Body Lotions on sale at 1.79€ (normally 1.9€ ) for 300ml, I bought both the Argan Oil  lotion as well as the Almond Oil one. 

Argan Oil Lotion:


The hand and body lotion is in a pump bottle which holds 300ml of product. This is a good amount considering there are so many hand and/ or body lotions out there that are bad quality for a low price. 

What do I Think? 

I’ll admit that before I bought this, I was doubtful as whether it would be any good. I had heard so much about Argan Oil and am always looking for nutritious products that don’t cost the Earth to keep my skin at its best. 

The product has a thick and creamy texture and is not at all runny or watery like other products. Because of the oil in the product, my hands were a little greasy ( with a sheen) after using it but the product absorbed after a while. 


As soon as I smelled this cream, I fell in love with it. Argan Oil smells rich and sweet. It’s pure luxury. 

Almond Oil Lotion

The product, packaging and quantity seemed the same as the other lotion in the range. What I noticed, however, is that this leaves my skin a bit drier and  I feel it moisturises slightly less than the Argan Oil lotion. 

The smell of almonds  is strong and  is less so when the product is rubbed into skin. 

Overall, I prefer the Argan Oil one as my skin felt moisturised for longer and I love the scent and the product is 10/10 for me. The Almond Oil lotion is a 7/10 for me and I’ve seen it on sale lots more since I bought both of them. I’ll have to wait and see if the Argan Oil lotion is ever back in stock.I would like it to be a permanent product.