My Final Foxy Reading Corner 2013 #45-50!

Hey Guys!

So I am very happy to end the year with the completion of the 50 books for 2013 challenge (all tracked through one of my favourite websites of 2013, Goodreads!). I really enjoyed doing this challenge and it forced me to keep on top of my reading which sometimes I forget about and ignore for months on end. I’m not sure what kind of reading goal I will set for 2014, probably not a quantity based one purely because it meant I often ended up ignoring the longer books that I wanted to read (I’m looking at you Game of Thrones which I never got around to finishing 😦 ). So maybe a quality versus quantity take on reading for next year…let me know if you have any ideas!

Anyway, here are my final 5 books for 2013!

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45. Mindbend by Robin Cook

I’m pretty sure I have read this one before but it didn’t stop me from enjoying this 1985 medical thriller that was easy to get hooked into and fast paced. The plot revolves around abortions, suspicious medical cruises and a young, confused couple. A fun read as I expect with classic Cook. 4 Stars

46. Death Benefit by Robin Cook

I ended up reading two of these in a row however this more modern novel by Robin Cook I didn’t enjoy as much as the previous. The characters were interesting but it was more of a challenge to stay interested in the first third of the novel before it got to the mystery murders. The science side of these novels I love but the plot was a little slower than I like and made for a more average read. 3 Stars

47. Looking for Alaska by John Green

After reading Fault in our stars I knew I would both enjoy and hate reading another book by John Green. Enjoy its incredible story and characters that are well written and so incredibly believable but hate the tragedy that I knew was to be expected. This YA novel didn’t disappoint. Full of quotes that I just wanted to tattoo into my skin so I would never forget and relationships that were complex and beautiful I couldn’t help but love this book just like I loved Fault in our stars. 5 Stars

48. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Yet another incredible book to finish the year on. This novel focused on a n friendship that ended in tragic circumstances and the life of a young Afghan boy who grew up in a world of turmoil. At times this was hard to read due to the continuously awful events that just kept occurring but the masterful writing simultaneously made this impossible to put down. A powerful book and I look forward to reading more of Hosseini’s work. 5 Stars

49. The Dead of the Night by John Marsden

This is the second book in the Tomorrow series about an Australian invasion and a group of Kids trying to make a difference whilst surviving through the chaos. I definitely enjoyed the sequel and the character development it brought with it. A fast paced, easy read with a group of quite different characters in some pretty extraordinary circumstances. Very enjoyable just as I hope the rest of the series will be. 4 Stars

50. The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen

By now it’s obvious I enjoy Tess Gerritsen but somehow I had never read this book which was the first in the Maura and Isles series. A typically fast paced and gripping thriller that was a reliable and satisfying end to the challenge (albeit nothing ground breaking). 4 Stars

Well there we have it! To be honest at the end I wasn’t sure I would finish the challenge but it is nice to finally complete something (I am one of those people who never finish anything, apart from a good book). What were my favourite reads of the year? Wait for my Best of 2013 wrap up to find out!

Also if you want to follow me on Goodreads you can find me here! And don’t forget to like MyFoxyCorner’s Facebook page 🙂

Xx

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A Glimpse into My Foxy Christmas

Hey Guys!

So as this year draws to a close I wanted to share a few photos from my rather hectic Christmas day. We have our Christmas routine down to a science now and I kind of love it. It involves 3 families, a few animals, lots of driving but also lots of presents and as the photos will show too much food. Also, thanks to my husband for all these awesome photos. I was far too busy eating.

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I love a Christmas tree with mountains of presents underneath. Best sight ever.

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Does anyone else get sad thinking of the moment all the decorations are packed away?

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Oooo Blurry lights….so arty

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I think my favourite part of Christmas is all the nibbles. Cheese and salami and crackers, Oh my!

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I also love bringing blue cheese to parties cause no one else likes it which leaves more for me!

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That face.

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Spider is not impressed by Christmas. Not at all.

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A day of family means wine is a necessity. Just kidding. But not really.

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Meet cookie the devoted yet extremely scruffy jack russell.

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Each time I spell Poinsettia correctly I give myself an invisible pat on the back.

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Watching kids open presents can be extremely satisfying. The end result is a wrapping paper bomb site.

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A better combination than tomatoes and fresh basil does not exist. Except maybe peanut butter and jam.

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A fresh take on an old classic (Waldorf salad)

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This salad was amazing. I was fed so much good food its not even funny.

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The best part about a Kiwi Christmas? The ham.

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This had whiskey in its glaze. It was fantastic.

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Okay I spoke to soon…The pavlova makes a worthy competitor for the ham. It wouldn’t be Christmas without one.

Our Christmas also involved turkey, a very cute baby, pancakes, our car deciding to break yet again, terrible Christmas jokes*, a hilarious game to end the evening and a game of mini golf to round off boxing day (which I very much won, highest is best right?).

What did your Christmas entail?

*My personal favourite: What do you get if you eat Christmas decorations? Tinsilitis! (okay, its funnier with a couple of glasses of wine I admit)

Friday’s Letters: Dear Callie

Dear Callie

How do I put into words the sadness I have in my heart for losing you. How do I apologize enough for not being able to save you. How do I go from being a crazy cat lady to mourning the decision we had to make for you.

Everytime I think that life is going back to normal I see a reminder of your place in our household. A forgotten toy, a rogue cat treat that you were saving for later or just one of the many photos of you. Suddenly that feeling like I am choking on nothing returns and I feel like I will never move on.

I wish things had been different. I wish we had known what to expect. I wish we had had you in our lives for longer than the last two, short years.

Some people won’t understand what it is like to lose you but for me its like I have lost a member of my family, albeit a smaller, fluffier one than most. I won’t feel ashamed for missing you but I will be hopeful that eventually it will stop hurting so much.

I have so much to say but the words don’t come easy. I know you are better now and no longer in pain. I am glad that now we carry the pain instead whilst you move on. I am also glad I got to hold you for those last few moments of your short life.

Thank you. For inviting yourself into our lives. For sharing our meals even when we didn’t want to. For spending each night as part of our bedtime huddle and enjoying long weekend sleep ins. For taking up my instagram with endless photos of your gorgeous face. For being awake with me at night when I couldn’t sleep. For being the sassiest cat I knew and scaring away all the neighbors despite your tiny size. For being there for me when I felt alone or sad, even if you didn’t understand why I needed your cuddles. For annoying me when I chopped vegetables and then looking at me with disgust when I offered you some. For sticking your head in bags of Doritos. For watching cat videos on youtube and loving them almost as much as me. For sitting on my lap through endless hours of study and blogging even though there wasn’t much room under my desk. For being a part of lives that was so much bigger than I could have expected.

Thank you for reminding me to cherish each moment we have with our loved ones.

We won’t ever forget you

xx

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If you tame me, we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I will be unique

My Foxy Reading Corner: #39-44

Hi All,

Apologies for the long gap between posts. Life sometimes takes an unknown turn and suddenly blogging takes a back seat.

I know I should be blogging solely about all things Christmas but I am in dire need of throwing a quick reading update in as I have one more after this to do at the end of the year. So hear are books 39-44!

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1. One Fifth Avenue by Candace Bushnell

I had high hopes for this book but was a little disappointed in what was a rather busy, shallow chick lit read. The characters were mostly rather unlikeable and the story lines were nothing spectacular. It took me a while to get into it and once I did I can’t say I didn’t enjoy the read to some extent but not something I would recommend seeing as there is so much to read and so little time. 3 Stars

2.  Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter

Okay so confession time….I didn’t enjoy this very much at all and thought the characters lacked proper development, the reader was thrown into the middle of a pretty confusing story and it was pretty average. Here is where it gets rather shameful. I realised after reading and complaining about this that it is in fact the third book in a series. The conclusion in fact. And somehow I read the entire thing thinking it was the first. Suddenly the lack of information on characters and sub plots make a lot of sense whilst I sit in a corner sorry for all my criticisms. So yeah, average book but mainly because I am sure the two books before hand do a lot for the story. It still wasn’t good enough that I can be bothered going back to the first two… 3 Stars (Probably deserves more but who knows)

3. Last to Die by Tess Gerritsen

Ah, I love authors that never fail to dissapoint. Whilst this isn’t my favourite novel of hers I can always rely on a very enjoyable read when it comes to Gerritsen. This creepy story centered around a child who is the lone survivor of his family’s mass murder and a pretty strange school sanctuary this book was a quick and satisfying read. One of my favourite crime/thriller authors and the two females leads are great characters throughout most of her books. 4 Stars

4. Serenity: The Shepherd’s Tale by Zack Whedon et al.

Are graphic novels cheating cause if so I kind of cheated. I have been pining after Serenity since falling in love with the TV series and Shepherd’s mysterious, religious character was one I was desperate to know more about. I don’t read many graphic novels but this one was a quick and easy read however I was left with a sense that I had just seen the shorts for  a movie and not really delved into a character’s past like I had hoped to. The drawing was nice to look at but at times it was a little difficult to read. Not bad but could have been SO MUCH MORE. 3 Stars

5. Allegiant by Veronica Roth

So this is the third book in another series but I had actually read the first two in this case so I guess that’s progress.. I loved this dystopian series and was very excited for this books released. The conclusion to the series was okay but also felt a little forced in some places. The narration by the two characters was weird at first but worked once I got used to it. I like that the author wasn’t afraid to make big moves and overall they were done well. Very enjoyable thought not perfection but a good end for a must read series. 4 Stars

6. The Marriage Plot by Jeffery Eugenides (I will never say his name right. Ever.)

I was excited to finally read my first book by this rather popular author and the novel did not disappoint. At first I kind of floundered around in what felt at times a little over written but by a quarter of the way I was taken. Not everyone loves this book and I can see why. Some sentences are just so strange and bizarre but at the same time were what made me fall in love with the writing and the characters. For me I guess the juxtaposed characters, pretentious prose and the beautifully written love triangle cliche come across as unique and absorbing. A book that I just wanted to spend hours with so I could savour every word and that doesn’t happen very often. 5 Stars

All in all a bunch of solid books but a couple I could have happily missed. If you want to keep an eye on my reading follow me on Goodreads where I am happy to announce I am officially on track for reading 50 books in 2013! Exciting stuff guys.

Hope you are all having a great week!

A Christmas Wishlist

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Hey Guys!

Thank goodness for Fridays. This week feels like it has gone on forever and the only things keeping me going have been Downtown Abbey and Callie cuddles. Oh and the thought of Christmas. Today I was supposed to be finding presents for other people but I ended up just compiling a Christmas wishlist for myself with a few things I have been lusting over. This potentially could be helpful for anyone buying me presents this year (*cough* Edd *cough).

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1. Black and white Little Critters necklace by Karen Walker (short)

I saw two beautiful ladies wearing this at a Benefit blogging event recently and fell immediately head over heels. This is something I think I will have to ensure I get for Christmas as I can’t see myself living without it. Because this is part of the cheaper Karen Walker line its retails for an incredible $55 and can be bought here. It is also available in white and mustard or white and red and for the love of me I still can’t quite make up my mind. Leaning towards black and white….

2. Marc Jacobs Honey Eau de Parfum

I love my Marc Jacobs Daisy but am lusting after this newer addition to the range. A sweet, fruity scent with honeysuckle and mandarin appeals to me and I can’t resist a spritzing it all over me when I walk past it in a store, everytime…  (“testing” it out guys). I am not sure how much this is in stores but on strawberry.net it’s going for $112.50 (100mL). To be honest I would pretty much be happy with any Marc Jacobs perfume. I love them all.

3. Treats from Little and Friday by Kim Evans

I love a good cookbook and lately I have been craving this one in particular. This would make a great gift for a lot of people (and just generally pretty on the coffee table…). I feel like a bit of a failure for never checking out the Little and Friday cafes but that doesn’t stop me drooling all over the pages in this book (which would be less weird if it was my own book and not one in the middle of whitcoulls). This can be ordered online here if you are interested.

4. & 5. Teapots from T2

One of my highlights for 2013 was seeing a T2 store opening in Auckland so it comes as not surprise that I have found two gorgeous teapots that I would rather love (well, just one would be fine as well). T2 is full of amazing gifts for any tea loving family member or friend so if you are stuck for ideas go and talk to the lovely staff in the Queen Street store. I can’t choose between these two tea pots but they are both too beautiful for words. This one feels a little afternoon tea at Downton abbey whilst this one is more of a fun, modern take. And both are blue! Winning all round.

6. Floral Vans

So recently my beloved Converse chucks have fallen apart so I am in need of  a new pair of reliable footwear. My instinct is to head straight for another pair of converse however I have found myself more drawn to Vans after seeing them in a few stores. Than, browsing the web today, I found this blue floral pair and my heart was set. These may be my next dream shoes. I haven’t found an NZ link for them yet but they can be bought online here. A great gift idea if you know someone’s shoe size (less ideal if you are just guessing).

7. Glasshouse Limited Edition Candle: Night before Christmas

So last up is a candle which is no surprise. I rarely buy these fancy Glasshouse candles but just sniff them obsessively like some sort of deprived addict whenever I go into Redcurrent stores. Firstly, Redcurrent is amazing (both online and instore) for gifts. They have pretty much anything for anyone (well anyone with class that is) and their baby things are to die for. Back to my current Candle pick I love all of the new range of Christmas candles but this plum/blackcurrent/lemon/lavender combination just feels a little bit magical. Buy it here!

What is on your Christmas wishlist this year?

Xx

 

November Favourites!


Hi All!

Merry Monday and happy 2nd day of December 😀 My Monday was a little crazy and insane but all is good because Christmas is only 22 Days away! Only getting a little bit excited…

Anyway I am two days into a new month and thought it was definitely time to share a beauty/makeup related favourites as well as a couple of randoms at the end.


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1. Lush Dream Cream
Without a doubt my number one favourite product this month and new holy grail skincare product is the ever so popular Dream Cream by Lush. This stuff is like magic lotion, supposed to be for hand and body but I also find it is one of the only moisturizers that I can use  on my face. It is full of good stuff and you can read more over on my post at nzgirl. Long story short if you have sensitive or irritable skin this stuff could be your lifesaver and at $6 a pot (40g) it is pretty affordable as well.

2. Revlon Colorburst Lipstick in Fuchsia

I picked this up on a whim for $8 from a makeup sale store that has popped up on Queen street and couldn’t resist the glossy, fuchsia pigmentation. This lipstick is stunning and lasts a good amount of the time on the lips. After sticking to red lips almost exclusively it was quite nice to branch out and pop on a pink.

3. Butter London Nail Lacquer in Slapper

Butter London are a fabulous nail polish brand and this bright teal is one of my favourite colours in the Spring/Summer period. Bright and colourful with a formula that glides on with two easy coats the slightly higher price tag reveals itself in how great this polish is. One of those colours that I pop on when I can’t decide and just want an all round favourite.

4. Imogen Rose solid perfume from Lush

I love perfume. A lot. And yet my skin and I have this funny relationship where it randomly decides it doesn’t want to wear perfume and I am limited to spraying it on my clothes for fear of sending my skin into a spiral of angry irritation. For these times I thought I would try out a solid perfume from Lush and it doesn’t disappoint. I can use this on my skin and it just feels like a moisturizing serum. Most importantly it still smells amazing, of fresh picked roses (and not the artificial “rose” scent of most perfumes) and is very affordable at only $10.90. I think I may have to pick up the vanilla one next. Bear in mind this doesn’t last ages on the skin but is easy to throw in a handbag and reapply throughout the day.

5. Yes to Carrots Lip butter in Berry

I love  the new “Yes to” range that has come out into supermarkets recently and this lip butter is no exception. Creamy and moisturizing with a delicious berry scent this clear lip butter is full of coconut oil, olive oil and other natural products that make it far superior to petroleum based lip balms in my opinion. It moisturizes for longer and feels better on the lips and for only $4.99 on special was a very affordable purchase.

6. Dove Go Fresh Deodorant in Green tea and Cucumber

I had to mention this briefly as it is a great deodorant for only $5 approx at supermarkets and I love the crisp, fresh scent that lasts for what seems like all day. If you are on the hunt for a new deodorant to try then pick this one up (or the white nectarine one which also smells divine).

What I’ve Been Listening to: Haim (especially Don’t Save me and If I Could Change Your Mind) and La Sera’s song Love That’s Gone

What I’ve Been Watching: After finishing both Dexter and Breaking Bad Edd and I decided to try something new and are working our way through Downton Abbey (and both rather loving it!)

What I’ve Been Drinking: Tea (obviously. This month’s pick would have to be a new organic Peppermint tea picked up at the local farmer’s market) and also cucumber and lemon water which I have never tried before but is kind of delicious.

What have you been loving this month?

Xx