Thoughts & Reflections

2015 Favorites~

2015 favs

It’s time for yearly favorites *yay* I don’t do monthly favorites so I had almost forgotten about this year’s favorite post too. So glad I read it over at some other blogs and realized I have enough time to squeeze in a post before 2015 is over.

I believe 2015 went by in a blur and I didn’t get a chance to try out much stuff but when I started looking back at old posts to gather my favorites I was amazed. Damn there was a lot. Without further delay let’s get started.

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2015 Beauty Favs

~Beauty~

I realize beauty wise I got around to using quite a bunch of stuff. I got to use two different foundations, different eyeliners, lips, mascaras and what not. Below are my favorites.

Liner – I am still stuck on my Revlon ColorStay Liquid Eye Pen in 01 Darkest Black. I’ve had it since 2014 and it’s still going strong for me.

Mascara – Essence Get Big Lashes Volume Curl has got to be the one for me. Perfect effect without crisping the eyelashes, what else does one want?

Foundation – Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 hr Nude Finish Foundation because it saved me through the horrendous summer we had this year. Thank you, Rimmel, I am forever in debt.

Lip Liner – MAC Beet

Lipstick – MAC Ruby Woo

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2015 Skincare Fav

~Skincare~

I’ve been very bad with the whole skincare department this year. I am just glad I picked up The Body Shop Seaweed Clarifying Night Treatment as it had helped a lot with blemishes.

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~Fragrance~

Spritz wise Victoria’s Secret – Secret Escape Body Mist has been my bae this year and I doubt I will be falling out of love with this one anytime soon.

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2015 Books Fav

~Book~

I’ve been failing miserably at completing my goodreads challenge this year but I’ve got a few days in my hand and I hoping I’ll get it done in time. This year there has been just one book that I’ve wanted to reach out again and time again – The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. I loved it so much. I am linking my review of it so you can read me cry more about it in a detailed post. (CLICK HERE!!) My second favorite was All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, but I haven’t done a review yet so I was thinking to save it for 2016. Oh well. I am highly recommending these two to everyone I know that includes you too.

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That’s about it, guys. I will see you in my next post very soon! 🙂

Much Love,

~F x

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Books, Quotes

MyMissingPiece~

An Abundance of Katherines

He didn’t want it to end, because he knew the absence of her would hurt more than any breakup ever could.
But she left anyway, and he was alone in his room, searching out anagrams for mymissingpiece in a vain attempt to fall asleep.
– An Abundance of Katherines by JohnGreen

Book Review, Books

BOOK REVIEW ~ The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

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Click HERE for Goodreads Synopsis

I have heard so much about David Levithan and how he is a must-read author so I decided to read one of his books in September. I picked up The Lover’s Dictionary because the chapters looked really short which meant I would end in one sitting.

The Lover’s Dictionary is written, as the title suggests, in a dictionary style starting with A and ending on Z. Now what I was expecting was a proper story of the couple that started with alphabet ‘A’ explaining how they met and ended at Z with their endings however good or bad they were. This wasn’t the case with the book. It was more like snippets of a couple’s life and though that wouldn’t have been much of a problem if it was arranged in a manner that gave some clear insight of the couple’s life. There wasn’t a proper story and more like you had to fit the pieces and make sense of the story on your own.

I know a lot of people like such books and there are people who loved this one but there are some who didn’t which includes me. I couldn’t really connect or relate with the couple. I do believe the concept was great but it wasn’t executed that well. I also believe that you might really like it if you’re in love but if you are not then you might not enjoy it as much.

The book had some good parts. I liked A for Anthem. It was the girl’s song and it was nice. I am not giving up on David Levithan just yet. I want to read some more of his books and decide how I like him. For now he gives off a very John Green vibe to me.

Rating: 2/5

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Books

I Found A Cure For Reading Slump!! + September TBR List

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If you are following me on my Book Instagram page (@BigBooksTinyHeart) you would know I was going through a reading slump in July. I tried reaching out to a lot of books but nothing was helping. I had a huge TBR (to be read) list that was increasing by the day and I had no solution.

One day I was just going through other book Instagram pages and found out about Book Reading Goals. It is as simple as the name suggests. Before a month starts you make up a list of books you plan to read that month. I thought to give it a try as I had nothing to lose. Guess what guys?! It worked!!

I set a goal of reading Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi in August. I was very practical. I knew I was trying to get out of a slump so I kept to just one series. I didn’t want to pressurize myself as reading for me is like an escape to a happy place. I completed my reading goal in time and was so happy about it because Shatter Me series was on my list from last year.

I know for some reading just 4 books a month is not enough reading. I know the feeling I was like you guys too once. But you have to keep in mind that if you force yourself to read when you are not in the proper state, you won’t be able to do it. Secondly, I realized that while in my slump when I used to go through my bookshelf or digital library the options were so many that I used to get overwhelmed. Planning a reading list helped me with that and my mind was prepared to read the books I picked out for that month. Also, if you achieve your reading goal in half a month you can always add another book or two to read. I won’t really advice this in the beginning for about a month or two because it might make you feel pressurized but it’s up to you. Whatever you can handle! I hope this post can be of help to some of you at least. Let me know if it works! 🙂

September tbr - famtaq.com

Moving on, I picked up books I want to read this month.

1- Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracey Chevalier

2- Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

3- The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

4- An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

I am already done with the first two and did a mini review on my book Instagram. I will do a full review here soon. I am still deciding which book to read next.

What is on your TBR list this month? What are you reading currently? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

~F x

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Lately

Lately #14 ~ Summer Edition

1- Summer Skincare

Muscat is experiencing one of the craziest summer ever. The temperature goes as high as 54 degrees. The air conditioning is giving up again and again. It’s horrible. My skin is being more oily than usual. I am keeping things under control by using The Body Shop Tea Tree Facial Wash every morning. It’s been helping in keeping the oiliness/grease away and keeping my complexion stable. I love my The Body Shop Cucumber Milk Cleanser but it wasn’t helping me with this crazy summer skin so I switched back to my Neutrogena Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Facial Cleanser. I stopped using it because it would leave my face very dry but these days it is the only product that’s helping me in reducing breakouts and minimizing acne. I use it in the morning before my face wash and then later by itself in the evening. It is not a must that you use it twice a day. I do it when I feel my skin has become very greasy. I don’t like to over wash my skin because it strips off the natural oils.

2- Go to Mask ATM

I have been using Himalaya Herbals Refreshing Fruit Mask – Papaya + Apple – for Normal to Dry Skin. It’s an alright product. It’s quite drying and sometimes I get this intense burning sensation on my face when I have it on. The only reason I am using it these day is because my The Body Shop Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask is almost finished and right now whatever of it is left has turned into proper hard mud. I softened it by adding some rose water and it been working just fine.

3- On My Face

My Maybelline Fit Me Foundation isn’t working much wonders in this summer. It doesn’t stay for long and gets my face really oily. I purchased Rimmel Lasting Finish 25hr Nude Foundation in 100 Ivory a few weeks back and have been experimenting with it ever since. I thought it wouldn’t be that great but it is super good if you are looking for a foundation that would withstand this heat. It doesn’t budge at all. I will do a detailed review very soon because I have got lots to say about it. Stay tuned. 😉

4- On My Body

I am obsessed with Victoria’s Secret So Sexy fragrance these days. It’s a mix of floral and fruit smells and isn’t subtle at all in a very good way. The only thing that comes to my mind when I sniff it is – oh, so very sexy. For me it’s the perfect summer night out fragrance. Totally love it.

picture: internet

5- Obsession

I am obsessed with the idea of doing an extremely huge book haul these days. I mean at least 50 books. Yes, I do know that is far more books than I can read in a year but I am just obsessed right now. I am refraining from going to Borders or any online bookstores these days because I don’t trust myself. I am just going to lock myself in my room and wait this feeling out.

6- On My Cell

I finally got some new covers for my Samsung Note 3. I went to Dragon Mart for it. It’s a good place for such accessories. I am so happy with my purchase because I was sick of seeing my cell in the same covers. Yes, they had to be blue because you can just never have enough blue. I love them both. I don’t know if you can see it but the plain one actually has lines like threads. It’s really pretty in person. Did you see the tiny horns my Sully cover has? SUPER CUTE!!

What have you guys been up to? Let me know in the comments below. 🙂

Love yourself often and enough,

~F x

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Book Review, Books

BOOK REVIEW ~ Girl Online by Zoe Sugg

*no spoilers included*

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I had no idea GirlOnline would take off the way it has – I can’t believe I now have 5432 followers, thanks so much! – and the thought of opening up to you all about this is terrifying, but here goes…

Penny has a secret.

Under the alias GirlOnline, she blogs about school dramas, boys, her mad, whirlwind family – and the panic attacks she’s suffered from lately. When things go from bad to worse, her family whisks her away to New York, where she meets the gorgeous, guitar-strumming Noah. Suddenly Penny is falling in love – and capturing every moment of it on her blog.

But Noah has a secret too. One that threatens to ruin Penny’s cover – and her closest friendship – forever. (Source: Goodreads)

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I have become very picky about what books I read this year. I read so many negative reviews about Girl Online and it was quite expected to be honest. However I did not give up on it because com’n it’s Zoe’s debut book. How can I not read it? Though the book wasn’t available in Borders Muscat, I got mine from Pakistan. Thanks to my bestie!

The storyline is simple – an accident prone girl/girl meet boy and connect instantly – pretty predictable. Now it isn’t one of the best books written in the history and I never expected it to be. Writing a novel isn’t an easy task but I did feel kind of disappointed because some of the most basic things were missing.

There weren’t many details about how Penny’s blog became so popular. It was more like she started a blog and instantly became famous. There should have been a little more details between ‘I just started a blog’ and ‘thank you 5000+ followers’. A reader needs more details to feel connected to the story. There were no details about anything really. Then there wasn’t much character development either. Most of the characters were so close to Zoe’s real life people (which can explain why there any details about them) that it felt like a guess-this-person game. Some parts didn’t have proper flow and felt more like blog posts by Zoe. It was pretty evident two people wrote it without any synchronization.

Good things about the book include; I got mine in hardcover and the cover is blue so its love

I heard Zoe signed a two books deal so I guess we can expect the second book by next year. I hope it is better written than this one. I had fun reading this one so I wouldn’t mind getting the second book too because yes her novel writing needs improvement and her second book is her best chance. Also, we need to support our blogger community, ha.

Till next time,

Love,

~F x

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iWrite

Reader with a Stalkish Problem? o_O

Oh, I really need to share this with anyone who loves to read and would listen to me atm.

So the thing is… any time I am at the mall or I am just out and about in general and I see someone with a book I get this sudden urge to just go over to them and strike a book conversation asking them questions ranging from “is it any good?”, “how’s the plot?”, “how’s the writing?”, “should I give it a go?”, “is it worth reading/spending my time on” (because I really don’t have much to spare reading books that would disappoint me), “suggest me some books!!”, and “you have a mighty huge bag of Borders in your hand. Can I just peek in to see what books you have been purchasing?” I have refrained myself from doing the last one twice now because it is a whole new level of creepiness. Once there were these two old men who had full bags of Borders and I just wanted to know what books are they into. The second time was day before yesterday when I saw a guy in Caribou Coffee Bar with this huge book in his hand and a huger Borders bag and he was so engrossed in his book. He was almost done with it and I really wanted to ask, “Do I need this book in my life, bruh?” Thankfully my friend stopped me from doing so – four times. *You are a good friend and I love you*

I am not crazy trust me. I am just very interested in having book related conversation with strangers who would maybe be into a different kind of literature than me and can help me experience it by suggesting some really good books. It was one of my resolutions this year as well. I want to read different genre so I know which ones do I like best because so far I have just no idea.

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Sadly the idea of talking to strangers is still not that acceptable here or I would have spoken to this little girl the other day at the mall, I think she was about 13 or 14, who had a copy of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones that it is one hell of a read and would ask her to make sure she has the rest of the series in hand because once she ends the first book she will go mad if she doesn’t start the second one right away. Didn’t wanted to creep the kid out so I let her be and calmed the reader in me assuring she will find it on her own, it’s okay.

Tell me guys have any of you fellow readers ever been in such a situation? Please don’t make me feel like I am the only one. I don’t want to believe I am a creep, ha.

Until next time, 🙂

Love,

~F x

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Book Review, Books

BOOK REVIEW ~ The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

*no spoiler included*

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After biting everyone’s ears off by talking nonstop about it and having a huge argument with my own self over buying it due to the price tag, I finally gave in and purchased The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton from Borders Oman – and I regret nothing.

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Set in seventeenth century Amsterdam-a city ruled by glittering wealth and oppressive religion-a masterful debut steeped in atmosphere and shimmering with mystery.
“There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed…”
On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office-leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.
But Nella’s world changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist-an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways . . .
Johannes’ gift helps Nella to pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its unusual secrets, she begins to understand-and fear-the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society where gold is worshiped second only to God, to be different is a threat to the moral fabric of society, and not even a man as rich as Johannes is safe. Only one person seems to see the fate that awaits them. Is the miniaturist the key to their salvation . . . or the architect of their destruction?  Source: Goodreads

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I read the synopsis once and immediately added it to my to-read list on Goodreads because it was very intriguing. Though this book turned out to be the exact opposite of everything I expected from it. I thought it would be about a doll house that works according to its owner’s wishes. Well, that wasn’t the case, ha. However, it was very interesting to find out about the whole plot. I don’t want to give away any spoilers or even hints because this book deserves to be read.

It was written in a simple manner aka the author wasn’t try to get on my nerves by adding half of the dictionary in it. The story had an amazing flow, every scene was so fitting and things were quite unexpected. The characters were remarkable. Their transformation was superb. I personally loved Johannes, his dogs and Marin. I think their dark family was spectacular and their servants were equally entertaining.

There is also this thing that The Miniaturist did to me – it made me want to pack my bags and just go to Amsterdam right away. The way Jessie has written about the scenery, weather detail, the neighborhood, people and their ways – it has made me long for a little wanderlust.

While I was reading it and I was 40% through with it, I thought this book wouldn’t have much of an impact on me, but then I found so many parts where my heart was lurching out for the characters and I was happy when they were happy, sad when they were sad and I would see hope when they would. This book won’t hit you right away but when it does – it will hit really hard. Jessie Burton, what have you done to my tiny heart?!

I would recommend it to everyone. If you want to read something different from all the usual books or are going through a book reading funk – this book is for you. It has such nice dialogues and details you will end up loving it. As a bonus the book cover is way beautiful. You would want to display it on your bookshelf as a frame.

Have you read The Miniaturist? How did you like it? Lemme know in the comments below! 🙂

Love,

~F x

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A Bit of Shopping, Books

New on Shelf ~ The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

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I finally have The Miniaturist in my hands!!!!!

I went to Borders on the weekend but couldn’t find this on the racks so I just asked the person at the counter and they found me the last of this book and I was giddy with happiness. It did take me 20 minutes to decide whether I should get it or not because it was for RO 9.800 but then I cave in in the end. Now I am just keeping my fingers crossed and hoping it is a good read.

Has any of you have read it? What did you think about it?

Love,

~F x

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Catch-up Posts

Catch-Up Post #12

Catch up 12

Wow, I didn’t realize I hadn’t done a Catch Up post from two weeks, ha. So let’s catch up on posts you have missed or must reread. 😀

1- FOTD with New Drugstore Purchases – I purchased some new bits from drugstore and thought to do a Face of the Day for you guys! 🙂

2- The Hand Creams You Don’t Necessarily Need – This one is a The Body Shop disappointment post. Read for yourself if you’re curious.

3- 3 Books I Can’t Wait to Read – Some books I can’t wait to read. 🙂

4- Passion Café Oman – Had a bad experience in one of the local restaurants and thought to share.

5- Quote of The Day~ – 🙂

6- Lately #11 – Got back to doing a lately post after a while. As usual its one of my favorites.

7- The Miracle Hair Bursh  – We are talking The Wet Brush here guys!! 😀

8- The Book That Has Got Me Captivated & Fixed My Funk ~ The Enchanted Rose (Misty Hills #1) by Nadia Nader – A series you should keep your eyes open for. Got done reading the first part and loving it. Can’t wait to read its sequel.

9- The Harry Potter Tag by Emily Reads Books? =D – A book tag with lots of Harry Potter characters? Of course I’d do it!!

10- Babia’s Happy Ending  – 

11- The Beginner’s Lipstick Shades – Talking about two every day shades that can get you into liking lipsticks.

12- Lately #12 – This one is completely lifestyle plus a project announcement 😀

~F x

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