Start the Countdown: 24in48 (Summer ’16 Edition) Sign-ups are Open

24 in 48 Readathon

Since the last minute of the last readathon in January, I’ve been counting down to the next one. And now that we’re a little more than a month away from 24in48 (Summer ’16) Edition, it’s time to take this countdown public. The next readathon will be on July 23-24, 2016! Officially, we’re 40 days away from the start of 24in48, and I personally could not be more excited.

If you’re new to 24in48, this is the basic gist: Beginning at 12:01am on Saturday morning and running through 11:59pm on Sunday night, readers read for 24 hours out of that 48 hour period. You can split that up however you’d like: 20 hours on Saturday, 4 hours on Sunday; 12 hours each day; six4 hour sessions with 4 hour breaks in between; whatever you’d like.

And that’s it. The format never changes but it’s always an adventure.

Have more questions?There’s…

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Come Join Me on Litsy!

Hey everyone! I hope you’re all keeping well and enjoying the Summer so far! It’s been a while and I do apologise for that. Having a cute little baby girl seems to be taking up a lot of my time now, but I’m still here, I promise. 😀

Have any of you heard of an app called Litsy? No? Neither had I until recently when my fiancé’s mum introduced me to it. It’s a book community where book lovers go to chat about, well, books! Basically it is a simplified version of Goodreads. At least that’s how I see it. It’s the only thing I can think to compare it to.

When you sign up, they ask if you want to follow their suggested users. I chose to do that but you don’t have to. One of them is a Litsy book club which I thought was a fab idea and will hopefully be joining in the fun next month myself. 😀 

Here is what your profile layout will look like:

When you want to post something, just click on the cross symbol. You can then choose to write a review, write a blurb (or a general comment), or quote something from the book. Once you’ve chosen what you would like to do, you select your book and then you can write about it! It really is a nice little app. I think if I was to suggest any improvements, it would be to maybe have hashtags (or simply search for words) so that you can find other people who are reading the same book as you, like the same genre, are bloggers etc. So, if you love books like I do then come join me: SecretLivesOfFictionLovers

Enjoy your evening, guys! Oh and I thought I’d share a photo of Willow:

She’s wearing an Alice in Wonderland bow that I had made for her. I hope she loves books when she’s older!

Two Very Special Announcements! 

First off, I’d like to apologise for how quiet I’ve been. Second, the first part of this post should have been done weeks ago but I’ve been kinda busy … getting used to being a mummy! Yep I am now a mummy! I’d like to introduce you all to our daughter, Willow Rose Phillips, born 23 February 2016 at 11.14pm by emergency caesarean, weighing 8lb 11.5oz!


Welcome to the world Willow!


Our beautiful girl.


Daddy and Willow.

Both of us had to spend a couple of days in hospital as we were fighting off an infection but we were ok otherwise. Was so relieved when we finally got to go home, I can tell ya! Being first time parents, it was scary at first but we soon got into the swing of things. Aled still needs to change his fair share of nappies though. 😝

Willow is now nearly 5 weeks old and is doing so well! Can’t wait for her first proper smiles and giggles etc!
The second part of my announcement is …. I’m engaged!! Aled proposed to me last Saturday morning  (19th March) whilst we were cuddled up in bed and I was still half asleep lol!

I can’t wait to take his name! We haven’t set a date yet and will just take the time to save up money so we can have the wedding we really want. Wow, I can actually look at wedding dresses for real now and not just for fun haha! Venue wise, I’d love to get married in a castle or, failing that, something like a manor house.

Well, I just thought I’d pop on and share my good news with you guys. I hope you all have had a lovely Easter.
Take care and I’ll blog again soon (if Willow lets me).

Currently reading … And my Valentine’s Day gifts! 💕

Hi everyone! I haven’t disappeared off the face of the earth … honest! This pregnancy (I’m now 38 weeks pregnant – eek!) just seems to have taken over! So apologies yet again for being so quiet! I seem to have really lost the reading bug of late but I’m *trying* to get it back! I’ve been attempting to read something on my Kindle but my hands are crying out for an actual book to hold and turn the pages of (you just can’t beat the feel of an actual book, right?) so I’ve given in and chosen to read The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury!

Here’s the blurb:

I am the perfect weapon.

I kill with a single touch.
Twylla is blessed. The Gods have chosen her to marry a prince, and rule the kingdom. But the favour of the Gods has its price. A deadly poison infuses her skin. Those who anger the queen must die under Twylla’s fatal touch.
Only Lief, an outspoken new guard, can see past Twylla’s chilling role to the girl she truly is.
Yet in a court as dangerous as the queen’s, some truths should not be told…”
I haven’t gotten very far but of what I have read, I’m really enjoying it! I love my YA novels and this was one that was recommended to me by Amazon. Seems completely unique to anything I’ve read in the past so thought I’d give it a go. Can’t wait to see how it all unfolds. 😃

Now on to Valentine’s Day … With having a little one due any day now, Aled and I didn’t go mad this year. He did offer to buy me a new Pandora charm but I opted for books instead! Coz I do love my books (even if I seem to have lost all motivation atm) and thought it a great excuse to get some new ones! These are the books I’d chosen:


For a change, I thought I’d go for a classic by H.P. Lovecraft and a book called Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick. As you can see, it’s been compared to The Hunger Games but for me the only similarities seem to be the fact it’s a dystopian. Here’s the blurb taken from the back of the book:

I couldn’t find a blurb online that matched the back of the book, hence this picture.

Oooh Superheroes AND zombies … should be in for an interesting read here!

So, there you have it. I can’t wait to delve into these books and hopefully my reading bug will return and I’ll be back to normal with my head constantly stuck in a book. Or as much as our baby girl will allow, once she is here lol!

Baby Update – Week 30!

Wow! It’s week 30 already (and it’s Christmas week too)! I feel like the time is just flying by and that at any moment now, Willow will be here! Eek! We’re nearly getting there, though, with all the baby bits that we need. She’s doing really well and is moving so much! I still find it creepy, yet fascinating, that there is some little person growing inside of me. Especially as she’s now visibly moving around in my tummy! I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it lol!


This was at week 27. Thought I’d share as I’m wearing my Christmas tee.

And this is today at week 30. I don’t think my bump has noticeably grown in the last couple of weeks.

 I’m mostly feeling ok in myself. Suffering the usual exhaustion, aches and pains, and uncomfortable night’s sleep. I’m getting a fair bit of heartburn/acid reflux which I’m trying to combat with Rennies and Papaya Enzyme tablets (a natural remedy). I still can’t walk as much as I’d like but am doing the best I can. I just have to rest a lot and not wear my artificial leg so much (unfortunately this can last for several days before I can wear it again). I’m beginning to notice a few stretch marks making their way through now. Eek! I really must get into the habit of using my stretch mark lotion. I’m also noticing very fine hair on my tummy! So strange but I hear it’s normal.
This year we’re having two Christmases. The first was spent with my family in England the other weekend. We had Christmas Day on the sunday, opening presents and having a Christmas dinner. I’ve saved some of my presents for Christmas Day as I like to have something to open on the actual day. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without me and my sister getting up early, opening our presents and chuckling at each other’s reaction when we open something that’s a little odd so this year we’ll be Skypeing or FaceTiming each other. It makes me feel so sad that I can’t physically be there and continue the tradition but, now that Willow is coming along, we have to make a new tradition. I expect we’ll be alternating where we spend our Christmases each year so maybe next year we’ll spend Christmas Day with my family. we did have a lovely early Christmas with them and it really did feel Christmassy! There was also a special moment when Willow kicked and my mum felt it for the first time! Because we live so far apart, my mum hasn’t been able to be with me throughout my pregnancy so it meant a lot that she got to witness that.
As well as us getting presents, Willow got a few from my parents too! Here’s just a few of them:

They are so cute! My sister is also putting a box of things together for Willow but we won’t be getting them until she’s been born. I can’t believe that this time next year Willow will be spending her first christmas with us! It’s going to be so magical!
I really should go and get some lunch but I just wanted to pop on and let you all know how things are going and to say I’m sorry I’ve been so MIA of late. Exhaustion and lack of motivation is really getting to me at the mo but I’ll try to post a bit more regularly. I hope you all have an amazing Christmas.
Take care,


What a fabulous giveaway! Just in time for Christmas too. 😃

Lipsticks and Dreams


Hello everyone, I hope you had a great weekend! Today I have great news and that is I reached 100 followers last week here on WordPress and I decided to host a giveaway! I would like to thank everyone who is following my blog here and on bloglovin’ – thank you so much, you are awesome and make my day, every day! I honestly cannot express how grateful and happy I am, so let’s go straight to giveaway now!

To thank you I decided to make a giveaway and the item I chose is…


The set contains three beautiful eye shadow, blush and bronzer palettes with a total of 18 eyeshadows and a deluxe size of the famous Better Than Sex Mascara, all in a dollhouse box. The set already got great reviews and it’s so gorgeous that I was lovestruck as soon as I saw it in Sephora!

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Currently Reading: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

A perfect Saturday spent enjoying a cuppa whilst reading a good book!

I know, I know, I’m real slow on the book wagon when it comes to reading If I Stay. BUT I finally am and can honestly say I’m loving it so far. Before picking up If I Stay, I was already a fan of Gayle Forman. I love her writing style. It makes reading her books a breeze and, before you know it, you’ve gotten to the end and find yourself wondering how the heck you got there so quick! This book is turning out to be no different which I’m thrilled about.
I’ve yet to see the movie adaptation so have no idea how it compares to the book. Have any of you guys read the book or seen the movie? What did you think?
I hope you’re all having a lovely Saturday; whatever you may be getting up to.
Take care,

Halloween Bookfest. Book #2!

Hi guys. So as stated in my last Halloween Bookfest post, next up on my Halloween TBR list was Stephen King’s Misery.


Oh boy what a read this was! It took a while for me to get into but I think that’s because I was getting distracted too easily. Half way through, though, I was finally engrossed and I couldn’t put it down. I spent the majority of yesterday reading it and finished it at 1am this morning! It was so scary in a suspenseful kind of way and there were moments when I was just too afraid to continue reading (like the axe part! Or the birthday cake)! Of course, I did. I guess I’m glutten for punishment lol! I got so panicky at times and thought my heart was gonna beat right out of my chest! A quote from the actual book summed my feelings up perfectly: “In a weird way it was just too good to put down. It was like a novel so disgusting you just have to finish it.” It was like Stephen King was talking about his own book! And that was another moment where I was afraid to keep on reading in case Annie came home to find Paul reading her “memory lane” book. Misery is one of those books that really gets you thinking about what psychological torture the main character must have gone through. He’s trapped in a house for months with someone who is a complete lunatic! One moment she’s all genuinely loving and caring and then the next she’s a complete psycho monster brandishing an axe (and that’s just one example)!! I’m surprised I didn’t end up having nightmares about it last night to be honest lol but so thankful that I didn’t! I thoroughly enjoyed this book but it really creeped me out. I think I’d better stick to my paranormal books because at least then none of that could ever be real. If you know what I mean.

The third book on my Halloween TBR list is the Crimson Peak novelisation by Nancy Holder. I am so excited to read this. I love Nancy’s style of writing and will no doubt sail through this book in no time!

Take care,


Baby Update!

Hi guys, I hope you’re all having a lovely weekend! I’m going to be posting 2 blog posts today (hopefully) and the first is about my ever growing baby bump!

I hit my 20th week of pregnancy last week so on the Monday I went for my second scan! Everything went really well and the baby is healthy and happy! Had to chuckle at its hands being up by its head and its feet in the air! It was so amazing to see its heart beating. I felt a little emotional seeing that. Still can’t believe I have a baby growing inside of me! 

20 week scan

Unfortunately the sonographer wasn’t positive about the sex of the baby. At the beginning of the scan the legs were crossed and later on during the scan the sonographer still couldn’t get a clear view as to whether it was a boy or a girl. I felt a little disappointed as I was SO looking forward to telling people what we were having (Aled on the other hand didn’t care either way lol) and being able to buy more gender specific things. We let everyone know how it all went and my mum kindly offered to pay for us to have a gender scan (which cost £69). I think she was as desperate as I was to find out what we were having!

So fastforward to this week! Thursday was gender scan day! I was so excited, I couldn’t sleep the night before! We walked into this lovely reception room with white sofas and turquoise coloured scatter cushions. First we had to fill out a form (a general terms and conditions/contract type of thing) and pay the remainder of the balance (you pay £25 deposit when you book the scan) then a few moments later the lovely lady sonographer lead us into the scan room. The scan actually had to be done twice because my bladder wasn’t full enough so she couldn’t get a good enough view in that region (the baby’s bum was sat on my bladder). Luckily I came prepared, so I had to go back into the reception room and chug down the bottle of water I had AND the bottle of coke (they suggest you drink/eat something sugary to get the baby moving) lol! About 5-10 mins later we went back in to try again. It was so cute seeing the baby’s hands moving about and its mouth moving! The sonographer was finally able to tell us the sex! We’re having a girl!! And shall be calling her Willow Rose. 

Gender Scan. Meet Willow Rose!

Willow because Aled and I love watching Buffy (Willow is one of our fave characters) and Rose after my nanna, Rosemary. We’d both agreed on Willow even before I fell pregnant and I’d chosen Rose not long after falling pregnant as I thought the two complimented each other nicely. Her middle name now has a little bitter sweetness surrounding it as my nanna sadly passed away on the 18th Oct after battling lung cancer for the last couple of years (unbeknownst to us, including Nanna, until recently). So I’m feeling a little teary as I write this. I never got a chance to tell her so I hope she’d feel touched that we chose her name.

The same day that we had the scan, I also had a consultant appointment. Ended up being there for 2 hours! I have white coat syndrome so whenever my blood pressure is taken its always high. It had to be taken 3 times(!) and because it was still high, I had to have an unexpected blood test which I sooo wasn’t prepared for! Me and needles are not friends and I always end up trying to stop myself having panic attacks and bursting into tears. It took 3 times for them to get blood out of me and was sent to phlebotomy for the last 2 times (as per usual with me). They always have trouble getting blood out of me but eventually they did it. The consultant has requested I get visited at home on a weekly basis to have my blood pressure taken to see if it will be at a normal heart rate. The midwife unit is not happy about visiting me at home and will come to see me only the once if my blood pressure turns out to be normal. The consultant has also arranged that I see the physio department about getting some crutches because being a below knee amputee whilst pregnant is taking its toll on my walking and I’m spending more and more time not wearing my leg due to being sore and achy. I’m also finding my hips and lower back are becoming more achy too. The one good thing about seeing the consultant was that we got to hear the baby’s heart beating! It was so amazing! Kinda made things feel more real!

Now that we know what we’re having, we can start buying more things! Yay! But less pink the better lol. And oh my gosh there is sooo much that we need to buy! The other day Aled bought me this changing bag:


Now I just need to find a pram/travel system to match it lol! I’d like to get a Cosatto and was a bit disappointed to find that an offer that Mothercare had on one that I liked has now ended so I’ll keep on looking. I think a pram/travel system will be our next big purchase and then the baby furniture. We already have a Moses basket and stand etc so don’t need to worry about that anymore. I’d also really like to get this bouncer for the baby:

Baby Bean Bag Snuggle Bed Bouncer .

It’s so darn cute and looks sooo comfy! If you click on the pic it should take you to the item on Amazon. I’ve been putting items on my Amazon baby wish list so bit by bit we’ll start buying things from there. All being well we’ll have everything we need by time little Willow arrives!

Wow, I seem to have written an awful lot today! I’m sorry for such a long post and if you’re still reading this then thank you for taking the time to stop by.  Now I must go and have a lovely cup of tea and maybe a mini hot cross bun! If I’m not careful, I think hot cross buns may be my craving lol!

Take care,


Halloween Bookfest. Book #1!

With it being Halloween month I, of course, wanted to fill my TBR list with scary, spooky books perfect for the season. I actually kicked my spooky Bookfest off with a book that may not be scary to read but is filled with scary “vampires, demons, and the forces of darkness” and that book is Demons of the Hellmouth A Guide For Slayers by Rupert Giles (Nancy Holder). 


How gorgeous is that cover?! I couldn’t have envisaged anything more perfect!

I received this as a gift from my boyfriend for my birthday last week. I cannot begin to tell you how excited and happy I was when I received it! Out of everything, this is what I had been wishing for the most. I began reading it on Saturday (had to finish reading The Probable Future by Alice Hoffman first) and finished reading it this morning (Monday). I loved it! It’s a little similar to The Monster Book but is written as though it’s Giles’ journal and the book itself is even designed like one, complete with photos and drawings -some made to look like they’ve been stuck in with sticky tape! – and also cool little side notes from the Scooby gang which makes it a little less “stuffy” 😝 to read.


The moustache on Sunday made me chuckle. As did Xander’s “dollars in the waistband” comment!


“Party in my eye socket” oh lol!

Being a huge Buffy fan, I felt so nostalgic and emotional reading it! It brought back so many memories! Like oh page 112 when Giles writes, ‘…my dream seemed to center around Spike being my son, an attack from the First Slayer, and … cheese.’ I was instantly transported back to the episode of Restless and the Cheese Man! “I wear the cheese, it does not wear me”. I love the Cheese Man! He was my favourite thing about that episode lol!

It was such a fantastic read and now I want to go and watch Buffy from the very beginning!

So what’s next on my Halloween Bookfest?? Well, I have decided to read some classic Stephen King and go with Misery. I loved the film but have never read the book so it’s time I changed that. I think I might need to leave the main light on for this, rather than ready by torchlight under the covers. Eek!

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