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.

~

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

~

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.

~

~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.

~

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.

~

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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Book Review, Books

Book Review ~ Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi

*some spoilers included*Shatter Me Series - famtaq.com

Shatter Me series has been on my TBR list since last year. My baby girl H asked me to read it as she loved it so much. I am also following Tahereh Mafi on Instagram from last year and I absolutely adore her and her husband, haha. They make a gorgeous couple.

I am not really a fan of dystopian books that’s why I don’t usually read them but Shatter Me was raved about crazy much. So I started off with the first book. The starting of the book was great but the more I read the more speechless I got because Tahereh’s writing was a bit weird for me. I don’t know if other writer use such repeated lines too and metaphors that take you a really long time to decipher their meaning, but I definitely wasn’t ready. I found Juliette’s character as a little too dull. I couldn’t come to like her all that much. There were a lot of parts in the book that didn’t make sense to me. The most obvious one was the ‘love’ between Adam and Juliette. There was no chemistry between them. It felt like a very have-no-other-choice kind of a relationship. Then the end part was a bit weird too with Warner and his feels box exploding because throughout Shatter Me he was shown as a malicious being and then suddenly his personality makes a 360 degrees shift and he loses all control and senses. I am saying this because in the other books he is always so well composed even when he is talking to Juliette alone and shit is getting real but Shatter Me book’s last scene with Warner was really kind of off. Then there was this whole suit scene in the end and Juliette who does nothing but stay depressed is instantly ready to take on the world after wearing a suit. 😐 this was the exact face I made after reading it and screamed ‘are you frickin’ kidding me? Have you met you, Juliette??’. I am so glad Tahereh agreed with me in the later books regarding this scene – big love to her for this. I didn’t like Shatter Me much. It was an average read. I thought of not continuing the book as last year I read a few pages of it and left it but then I made up my mind and thought let’s just get over with it. Another thing, I didn’t like Adam’s character at all. He was like a puppy desperately in love and wanting some back. He didn’t have any traits that would make me fall in love with him or even support him in later novels. Kenji’s character was alright.

Second book I read was Destroy Me novella. I LOVED IT. Hahaha. The writing was so much better in this one plus it was all about Warner. I loved how his character was explored, his thoughts and his feelings. I absolutely loved it. Another thing I loved about this novella was how we got more of a peek into Juliette’s life through her diary. I really wanted to know more about her time in captivity. I loved the part where he describes her in a dark room whispering ‘forgive me…’ Hit me in the feel box that one.

Then I moved on to Unravel Me. I liked Omega Point idea. I thought it was cool. I liked all the new characters though they were depicted as a little unprepared and not really smart – just a bunch of people with some superpowers. Only Kenji was shown like he knew stuff. Though this book made me question a lot why we had Kenji at all but of course we needed a character who could joke around and say sleazy stuff. I am not a fan of his. This book started good too but became a drag after 30% of it was done. There were a lot of scenes where I wanted to punch Adam because he was killing my vibe. Thank god Warner was introduced back in this book and there was hope that I would end Unravel Me. Super loved Warner’s off time and the chemistry between him and Juliette. I hated his father aka the Supreme Commander but he was quite a nasty character especially with the last scene. If you have read the book you would know what I am talking about.

Fourth book was Fracture Me – novella from Adam’s point of view. Just skip it if you are not a fan of Adam. This novella didn’t have much plus I was screaming at the top of my lung after turning every single page ‘why don’t you understand – you are irrelevant, Adam.’ There were also times when I wanted to shoot him down. I just didn’t like his character at all. I found his ‘love’ as more of an infatuation and just stubbornness. I somehow got done with it thanks to all the repeated scenes. It was an absolute torture

I finally got to Ignite Me. Thank you Tahereh for this one. I liked it so much better than the rest of the books. There was a lot of Warner, a lot of real action and a lot of love. Though Adam often came and killed my vibe but I got better at ignoring him and his drama. I adored Adam’s younger brother James though. He was really cute, fun, curious and hilarious. This book gave me a whole new way to look at Kenji’s character. I liked him better.

I read Shatter Me series on my cell phone but if I ever buy any of the books it will be Destroy Me and Ignite Me because Warner. ❤ lol. In case I buy them all then that would be because of the covers because they are absolutely stunning. I don’t know if I should recommend this series or not but if you are a dystopian genre fan than do read it because a lot of people have said it’s one of the best. I have read just two dystopian series so I can’t really say much though I would say Shatter Me series is far better than Divergent series. Again a big sorry to Veronica Roth for saying this last line because I do like her a lot and Four was one of my favorite characters before he went bat shit crazy. This reminds me, I have to read Divergent book #1 again because I have been missing Four.

Happy reading~

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Books

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

Reading Slump - famtaq.com (

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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Books

Taylor Swift Book Tag

taylorswift

Taylor Swift Book Tag

I saw this book tag on Katytastic’s Youtube channel a while back and found it really fun so thought to give it a go. I’ll be tagging a few of you here. Anyone who is not tagged but wants to give this a go, please do so and let me know. I would love to see what you posted. 😀

QUESTIONS

1- We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together – pick a book or series that you were pretty sure you were in love with, but then wanted to break up with.

The Divergent series – It was so hyped about. I thought it was going to be hella amazing but it disappointed me so very much and the third book – I wanted to set myself on fire for matching my nails to the book covers. We are just never getting back together.

2- Red – pick a book with a RED cover.

The Manuscript Found in Accra by Paulo Coelho ❤

3- The Best Day – pick a book that makes you feel nostalgic.

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer and Hot Stuff by Elaine Fox – These two books get me so nostalgic. Harry Potter and The Miniaturist follow closely.

4- Love Story – pick a book with forbidden love.

I haven’t read any book with forbidden love yet unless you want to count City of Bones, ha! I loved the first three books of The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare so darn much.

5- I Knew You Were Trouble – pick a book with a bad character you couldn’t help but love.

President Coriolanus Snow because he was evil beyond measures. (Also because Donald Sutherland is beautiful)

6- Innocent (written b/c of Kanye West!) – pick a book that someone ruined the ending for.

None so far I guess. 😐 I don’t talk to people when I am reading a book.

7- Everything Has Changed – pick a character from a book who goes through extensive character development.

Nella from The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. She was all fragile and portrayed as a kid but with every chapter she grew stronger and brave.

8- You Belong With Me – pick your most anticipated book release.

I am eagerly waiting for another novel by Jessie Burton. She stole my heart with The Miniaturist. I can’t wait to read her second novel. I absolutely adore this lady.

9- Forever and Always – pick your favorite book couple.

Eleanor & Park – their romance was everything. ❤ If you haven’t read this book already, you must. Right now. Go. The clock is ticking.

10- Come Back, Be Here – pick the book you would least like to lend out, for fear of missing it too much.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. I think I have the most beautiful copies and also Hot Stuff by Elaine Fox because I doubt I will get another copy from any store near me if I lose this one, so nah you are not allowed to touch these books on my shelf. Sorry.

BONUS QUESTIONS

11- Teardrops On My Guitar – pick a book that made you cry a lot.

The Fifth Mountain by Paulo Coelho – I loved this book so much

12- Shake It Off – pick a book that you love so much, you just shake off the haters.

Twilight by Stephanie Meyers of course 😛

I tag:

HashtagLoveBooks

PajamaReader

To All The Books I’ve Loved Before

Emily Reads Books

Have fun!! 😀

~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)

~

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.

IMG_81598858364862

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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Lately

Lately #13

Girl Online by Zoe Sugg - famtaq.com

1- Currently Reading

I got my hands on Girl Online by Zoe Sugg (Blogger/Youtuber Zoella). A friend got it for me from Pakistan. It is not available in Oman for now. So far I have read a couple of chapters and I am reading it in Zoe’s voice, ha. I can’t wait to read more and give you guys a review! Very glad I got a copy because I was dying of curiosity. All my favorite bloggers are coming out with their books and it’s so exciting. This community is thriving and I am so proud of being a part of it. 🙂

Lindt Swiss Dark Chocolate - famtaq.com

2- Testing Testing

I don’t like to experiment with chocolates because I am a forever Galaxy and Cadbury girl (with except of Patchi and Starbucks) but I tried Lindt Swiss Dark Chocolate this week and it was quite good. It tasted like Starbuck’s Dark Chocolate and I guess I will probably repurchase it (quite a lot from now). I would love to try other flavors too from Lindt so if you have any favorites do leave them in the comments below. 🙂

Maybelline Lady Red Lipstick - famtaq.com

3- Red Lips

I can’t deny it anymore; Red Lips is my most favorite thing in the whole world. I can’t stop trying Red lipsticks from every makeup counter. I love them all and I want them all. Recent favorites include Bobbi Brown Hollywood Red, MAC Ruby Woo and MAC Cherry Lip Pencil. For now, I am wearing my Maybelline Red Lady lipstick nonstop. Red Lips are just my kinda thing.

Khaadi - famtaq.com

4- Kurta Obsession

Now this is a complete South Asian thing. There is a Pakistani clothes brand called Khaadi. It’s very popular and kinda high-end. They have come out with some really nice Kurtas and I am dying to fly off to Lahore and buy myself the whole shop. A friend got me one and I still didn’t get my hands on it but as soon as I do I shall keep you guys posted on how lovely it is in real.

Durr-e-Najaf - famtaq.com

5- New on Finger

I don’t really think anyone would know about it but I recently got a ring with a transparent stone called ‘Durr e Najaf’. It’s related to Islamic history and I do not know much other than that Hazrat Ali (R.A.) used to wear this stone on his finger. I love it. It’s absolutely gorgeous and ever since I got it, I didn’t take it off. They say it wards off troubles. Let’s hope that’s true. 🙂

The White Company - famtaq.com

Source: The White Company

6- Room

I am getting a little crazy with the idea of redoing my room completely. For now it doesn’t seem anything like me unless you count my bookshelf in. I am thinking of doing some home ware hauls and just get my room to look more like me. I am thinking of wall frames, wall shelves, some candles and more books. I can start with a new and bigger bookshelf and a study table that goes with my furniture. Also, packing away some unwanted items for now would be great too. Anybody has any suggestions please let me know in the comments below. I need to make a Pinterest board.

Have a good weekend y’ll!

Love,

~Fatima ❤

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