Beneath The Surface Heidi Perks Book Review

Hey Bookworms,

Another month means another book and this one I could not put down! I was reading it in the bath, in bed late at night and early morning...I was hooked! When Heidi got in touch and asked if I would give her book a read i read the synopsis and thought hmmm this isn't the kind of book I would usually pick up but let's try it and boy am I glad I did.

Beneath The Surface is a roller coaster ride  through a crazy time always having you guessing about what is going to happen next but often being even more surprised with the reveal. The twists are well written and realistic.

The book is told from the prospective of 3 people which keeps the story interesting and twists and turns the tales from all directions making you feel like you get a more rounded view of what is going on. 

Abi is just a teenager and she comes home from school to find her mother and twin baby sisters have vanished.  Leaving her alone in the world and left to spiral into a crazy world of partying. Years later through going to therapy her counsellor suggests she writes to her husband and we follow her journey as she attempts to track them down. 

The characters are well written and the differing ages of the three main ones make the book so relateable to women of all ages. You feel like you follow Abi's torment and hope she can just find the family she lost but you also get to hear what is going on in their lives as they get closer and closer to meeting.

Without spoilers the book covers so many important issues like mental health and will make you envy the connection twins can have. I literally gasped out loud so many times and even shed a few tears such a well written heartfelt book that you must read.

You can buy the book by clicking the book below as it released this week!

Have you read this book yet?

*Book was gifted to review but all opinions are my own

Alternative Homeware Wishlist

Alternative Homeware Wishlist

Tea pot
£32 - fab.com

CB2 home decor
£35 - cb2.com

Black home decor
£28 - blackforestdecor.com

Halloween home decor
£25 - zgallerie.com

Canvas painting
£21 - amazon.com

Madison Park halloween home decor
£9.72 - designerliving.com

a5 spinout notebook 120 PAGES
£3.53 - cottonon.com

Lindy Bop Alternative Spring #PSOOTD

Hey Cats,

Spring is here and the flowers are all breaking out which fills my heart with joy so to celebrate I got outside to show you this alternative spring look. If you are looking for a bring and cute pastel spring look this isn't the one this is all bout keeping warm and happy on those still chilly spring mornings. I have a love for Lindy Bop dresses and this one was kindly given to me by a very generous lady on twitter who just wanted to pay it forward with a good deed. How kind and lovely is that it really cheered up a bad week I was having.

I had never tried this shape of dress from Lindy Bop before as I wasn't sure what the fit would be like as sometimes they can come up really small, I was so excited to get to try a new shape and as soon as I put it on I was in love! It fit like a glove and gave me a really slick classy shape pulling in at the waist and then flowing out into a full skirt, I love how modest and classic the design of this dress is making it wearable day to day and even for work, 

The Khaki green colour is also a new for me and I am really digging it, I decided to team the dress with a black cardigan, boots, leggings and bag and a chunky eagle necklace to channel my inner GI Jane I felt in control and smart as hell, 

The quality of the dress is really good and the skirt is so full and even has a lining underneath which makes the silhouette so much sleeker and more put together, There is no stretch in the material but that is fine as I would say it is true to size. I just adore the shape this dress gives me and now I want one is every colour and pattern, 

I crimped my hair and pulled out my favourite green lippy and felt delicious.

Have you tried Lindy Bop?

A Night At The Movies With Gracewell

Hey Film Buffs,

By now you must know I am a total film nerd. There is nothing more I love than snuggling up with some popcorn and catching up with a film. Movie nights are the most fun when you share them with the ones you love. That's just what we did too. One of the best things about children is teaching them about all the awesome things you loved when you were little so when we had the pleasure of a visit from Me K's son we decided to school him in the ways of pure classics. My favourite film growing up was Labyrinth and with the recent passing of the legendary Bowie it seemed so much more important to share.

No good movie night is complete without snacks and we were spoilt with popcorn, retro sweets, pizza and fizzy pop. There's something about watching a movie and sharing food that just fills me with love. 

J was so excited by the puppets in the labyrinth and we sang along to the songs which even he was singing by the end. Although secretly I think he just loved the big of eternal stench it was really magical to watch him get shocked and wonder if Sarah would ever get to the castle.

We had such a lovely evening and sharing something as simple as a film and some snacks can really brighten someones day and bring people together, Gracewell run care homes around Birmingham and as part of the important work they do to help residents maintain a happy life within care they run regular movie nights which they can invite their families. Nights like this are so important and with your help this charity can keep helping residents and keep spirits high with fun entertainment for all,

What films would you watch on a movie night?

*Items were gifted but all opinions are my own

Deal With That Flat Car Tyre

Hey Feministas,

You may not know but at the moment I am learning to drive. Yes almost 33 years old (not until tomorrow) and only just adding that skill to my belt. I blame Birmingham for making it easier to get around using trains, buses and feet. So being the independent fierce diva I am it got me to thinking about things I need to learn as well as the actual driving. I don't want to be one of those girls at the side of the road calling the AA to help me fix something I can do myself. *flex muscles*

I remember when I was little driving back from visiting my Nana in Wales, We were driving down the motorway and my dads car suddenly got a flat tyre but as my dad knew exactly what to do he was able to safely handle the situation get us some where safe from harm and get that tyre changed.

I was talking to my bestie about changing tyres the other day and she told me she was once stranded in the snow with nobody around, a flat tyre and fully clueless. God bless you tube she managed to figure out how to get around it and changed that tyre. She also filled me in on a few things I didn't know!

First make sure you are in a safe spot where no accidents can be caused and you will be safe messing around with your tyre. 

do you know where your spare tyre and toolkit are? Most new cars come with these under the floor of the boot but if not make sure you have these in your car for emergencies.

Every car has Jack points where it is safe and stable for you to actually use the jack to lift your car. Make sure when getting your car you school yourself on where these are to avoid you damaging the car when attempting to lift with the jack. 

Know your tools and what they are for so in a panic you don't find yourself stressing over how to work a tyre iron.

I advise you take some advice and get your car tyres checked by a professional like Point-S tyres who will be able to give you all the help you need before you end up in trouble! It is so important that you have the correct tyres and they are checked regularly to make sure they are still in great condition,

Do you have any flat tyre horror stories?

*This has been a collaboration but all opinions are my own

A-Z Of Inspirational Women N is For...

Hey Feministas,

Lets celebrate some amazing women again and feel inspired by their magical ways. As always if you are new to this series welcome and please do check out all the other amazingly inspirational women we have already celebrated! N stands for,,,

I was recently introduced to the works of the amazing Nancy Cunard. Writer turned political activist Nancy devoted a lot of her time and life to fighting racism and fascism. Through poetry and stories she inspired people to stand up for what was right. After falling love that was forbidden of the time just because of the colour of her partners skin Nancy wrote about this injustice and stood up to the world to fight for love for everyone, It wouldn't be the only time as she took a stand again in the war with her works inspiring fundraising for Spanish refugees. Nancy was also well known  for her cubist style fashion often adorned in huge bangles from elbow to wrist.

The beautiful soulful voice of Nina Simone has filled the hearts of many including mine. Music that stirs your insides and moves you, one of the greatest singers of the twentieth century her music still lives on. Nina stood up for Civil Rights and fought hard for equal rights using both her music and words to inspire others to stand up to argue for what is right too! Nina was a well educated woman who wasn't afraid to speak up for what she wanted. I dare you to listen to Felling Good without feeling empowered and inspired.

From one singer to another Dame Nellie Melba was an Australian Opera singer who took the late Victorian era by storm. Working hard in a classical career paid off and Nellie was named the first Australian classical artist to achieve such huge recognition. Singing in places from Paris to New York she became a well travelled and known woman which for the time becoming that successful and being a woman is inspiration in itself. She went on to cascade everything she learnt in teaching to help other people build themselves up the greatest gift anyone can give.

A woman who recognised that more women needed to be both in front of and behind the film camera was Nora Ephron. Writing lead roles for women and actively ensuring equal genders were represented in her films and crew. So much so that after her death an award in the Tribeca film festival is named after her. The Nora Ephron prize is a $25000 prize for best female writer or director with a distinctive voice. Encouraging more women to become engaged in the film industry and helping boost those who already are.

Women who write are always high in the inspiration list for me, Nancy Mitford although an upper class woman was a very witty and often provocative writer. Writing novels, history pieces and essays that kept many laughing and smiling. Encouraging women to pick up books which is one of the best tools you can arm anyone with, Nancy believed that everyone should be amused and be able to have fun in life and that is something we should all take on board!

Which N inspires you?

Kitty Interviews Feminist Punk Trio Kitten Forever

Hey Cats,

I was lucky enough to interview an awesome band from Minneapolis USA. This bad ass female trio have a punk styling covering important issues like feminism and of course Ice cream. If you follow me on Twitter you would have heard me raving about these ladies before,

First of all Kitten Forever is an amazing name for a band! What other names were in the mix when you were thinking up names?

Originally we were going to call ourselves Drill Team! We were recently trying to remember other band names we’d kind of gone through but I think we came up with Kitten Forever very quickly and it just stuck. We’ve also had people refer to us as Kittens Forever, Forever Kitten, Kitty Time Forever, Kids Forever,...

I hear you have a new album coming out soon and brainstorm was released as a teaser and that song is such an anthem! What else can we expect from the new album?

We were pretty influenced by pop music on this album and think that comes across- the songs have a bit more melody and structure than in the past while still having the same punk rock, lo-fi, friends-making-music-together-in-the-basement mentality. 7 Hearts has a bit of everything- cheerleader jams, super short-n-fast songs, more anthems, ballads that will bring a tear to your eye... we think that it’s a pretty cohesive album that spans and expands our musical interests and abilities.

 Does this mean there will be a tour? Will you be coming to the UK?

We currently have two US tours scheduled for summer 2016 and REALLY want to make it to the UK soon. Any UK bands want to let us hop on their tour and borrow their gear? And maybe pay for our plane tickets over? ;)

Speaking of tours do you have any crazy or fun tour stories?

Tour can always be a little crazy and very fun! We played next to an empty swimming pool in a kids backyard in LA to like 5 people. We walked on the side of the highway with all of our gear in the pouring rain after our van broke down.

Who has been your favourite band/Artist to play with?

We’ve been super fortunate to open for some really awesome bands these past few years- we toured with Babes in Toyland this past October and that was an amazing experience. We’ve toured dozens of times but this was the first time we got to experience the more “professional” side of touring, with a schedule and riders and all that. We also got to open for early 90s riot goth band Jack Off Jill in North Carolina this summer for their one reunion show in the US and that was really amazing because Corrie and Laura were big fans of them when they were teenagers, so it was kind of incredible being able to open the reunion show in 2015.
We’ve really liked playing with our friends from Girlpool, Upset, Benny the Jet Rodriguez, Screaming Females, Peach Kelli Pop,…

What would be your ideal line up for a gig...with you ladies playing too obviously :)

We'd love to play with Grimes! Also we just really want to open for Taylor Swift.

Who would you say your main musical influences were in bringing the band to where you are now?

That has definitely changed since we started as a band. Initially Corrie and Laura joked about starting a raunchy, L7-type band but when Liz joined, she had this great whiny-cheerleader voice and the songs we wrote were just too… bouncy? to be raunchy. I mean, we had a song that listed flavors of ice cream. Due to the instrument configuration I think we were pretty heavily influenced by bands like Bratmobile, but also like, Crass and weird hardcore bands. I think we also listed our influences at the time as like, cake and our pets. Cake the food, not the band.
Now we feel like our influences again, are more pop-oriented, in that we use tricks commonly found in pop songs, and push the levels on our recordings up to what you’d more often see a pop album produced at. I think our influences now are more album-focused than artist focused as well- Sleater Kinney’s “The Woods”, Sleigh Bells’ “Treats”.
It would be a lie to say that we haven’t been influenced by bands like Bikini Kill and other riot grrrl bands, as well as grunge bands like Hole and Babes In Toyland. We also would say any R&B girl groups and pop musicians from the 90s.

What about guilty pleasures....c'mon I saw the documentary and I know theres a Hanson fan among you but how do you counteract that mmmbop?

You don’t counteract MMMBop… you just roll with it. I don’t believe in guilty pleasures, because you shouldn’t feel bad for thing things you love. However, unexpected pleasures include: Rihanna, Carly Rae Jepsen, Nicki Minaj, Drake, Miley Cyrus. There are a zillion more.

Are there any up and coming bands we should be listening out for?

From Minneapolis- Royal Brat, Lemonade, Channel Surf, Tony Peachka, Yoni Yum.

One of the unique and awesome things about Kitten forever is how you share everything out dabbling in all the instruments, Did you all learn together or did it start with you all favouring an instrument and teaching each other? What is your preferred instrument?

Originally we all had set roles in the band, Corrie played drums, Laura played bass, and Liz sang. Corrie taught herself drums to play in the band and Laura was already an excellent guitar player. We have all been in other bands over the years playing different instruments though. We decided to start switching it up in 2013 after having a period of ~*introspection*~ about ways in which we could continue to make the band more exciting for everyone. (By this point we had been a band for almost 6 or 7 years?) I think we are each most comfortable in our original roles, but comfort isn’t always preferred! We like to challenge ourselves to get better all the time on our non-primary instruments.

Loved the Beyonce cover set who would be next on the cover list?

Bawitdaba by Kid Rock

Do you have any advice for girls out there who want to be in a band?

We recently played at a benefit show for our local chapter of girls’ rock camp, and one of the things one of the organizers brought up was the tendency for women and girls to be hyper-apologetic and self-deprecating when they make mistakes. We’ve made SO many mistakes and we are still gonna make mistakes. BeyoncĂ© probably makes mistakes. Being a creative person is messy and weird and dumb and sometimes boring so why not have fun with your friends writing songs and making a bunch of noise?
Also if writing songs or performing isn’t your thing why not get into sound tech, or recording and producing your friends bands? There’s no mystery, you don’t have to pass a secret cool test to get involved, and there is always more room for women in these roles! PLEASE! What are you waiting for??

When you're not making music what do you get up to? Any hobbies…

Corrie- I am passionate about Keeping up with Kardashians
Laura- I am passionate about Neko Atsume
Liz- I am passionate about the Mall of America

Anything else you would like to share with the readers?

Our new album 7 Hearts is out March 25th on Atlas Chair records! Yay!

If you haven't checked out them out already give them a listen and show some fellow grrrls some support! A huge thank you to Kitten Forever for taking the time to talk to us.

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Money Saving Shopping Tips

Hey Bargain Hunters...

Let's face it we all love shopping and treating ourselves but it always feels all that more special when you feel like you've scored yourself a bargain. Am I right? I am always thrilled when I save a bit of money but then if you watch my empties or haul videos you will know I am a thrifty fan and no stranger to a good deal. I want to share some awesome ways to make shopping and days out guilt free by saving you some money towards treating yourself even more.

I only discovered the joys of cashback recently and it is so easy to get money back on products you are already going to by. I use Topcashback who have a whole host of top retailers working with them to get you a little money back for what you spend. It's easy you can join here and download a tab to your laptop so when your shopping if they do cashback you will be alerted and with a simple click of a button your purchase will be remembered and any cashback will be collected. On a recent Lindy Bop order I got £3.20 back which doesn't sound like a lot but when you were already making that purchase the money can build up in your account in no time.

There are lots of sites you can use to get money off meals, days out and even products one of the ones I like to use is My Favourite Voucher Codes they have lots of fantastic deals, Covering anything you can think of from a lovely meal out at your local swanky restaurants for half the price to camping away in fun little spots. Just jump on the website and have a look for your local deals. I like to use this site when I really want to go somewhere new and by looking at the offers you get lots of ideas of new places to go and things to do with the ones that you love. The reason My Favourite voucher codes wins above the rest for me is because not only do you save a ton of money but you also raise money for charity at the same time.So just by going fun places at a fraction of the price you are doing your part in helping those who need it, You will never find a better idea to go for a meal, 

If you have managed to avoid loyalty cards so far because you think they are too much hassle then think again. So many retailers now have loyalty schemes.  I like to let my points build up and spend them on a rainy day when I need a little boost. Nectar, Boots and Superdrug always build up the quickest for me and I have treated myself to make up, groceries, perfume and you even get special offers just for being part of the exclusive club. Sephora even have a loyalty system or if you like to go on coffee dates try Costa or Starbucks cards.

How do you save money when you shop?

YouTubers To Watch When You're Having A Bad Day

Hey Cats,

Some days you just get yourself in a funk and you can't get out. I had one of those days the other day and found myself watching You Tube by the end of watching these awesome people it was impossible not to giggle or smile your way through their videos,

Grav3yard Girl

Bunny is a US blogger who is a bundle of hyper energy and craziness, She is really upbeat and fun bringing lots of varied content. You can expect vlogs, unboxings, make up tutorials and more from this bundle of joy. I was having a real down day recently and then Bunny put up this follow me around video which actually had me laughing out loud and feeling so much better by the end of her Target trip. Another thing I love about Bunny is she isn't a super polished Youtuber and not afraid to film with no make up on.

Kiera Rose

Another YouTuber who is very upbeat and down to earth but in a more chilled out relaxing way is the beautiful Kiera Rose. A well established UK vlogger who will totally relax you and make you laugh with storytime, veggie suggestions, hauls and opinion pieces. Kiera will help you fall in love with rats, kindness and colouring. Not to mention she cosplay a as the almighty Xenia warrior princess.

Fat Girl Flow

A straight talking US plus vlogger and blogger. I have been following this inspirational lady on twitter and reading her blog for some time but only recently started following her you tube and I can't stress how much I love seeing a mix of writing and videos on bloggers pages because you get to know them so much more and see so much more personality. Well this sassy lady has bags to say and knows what she wants but she does it with a smile on her face and convinction in her words, Body positivity and more from this fabulous woman,

Pampers and Curves

Always been a fan of Betty Pampers blog? A go to in kitsch plus size style and crafty ideas, From this you tube channel you can expect plus look boos, reviews, make up tutorials and even a weekly family vlog which has become a regular in my YT viewing, It always makes me smile seeing this lovely family have such a great time together. A positive upbeat family with bags of creativity and chat to offer.

Drac Makens

A very talented American You tuber who features make up looks, vlogs , speed painting and more on her channel. A real fun and creative lady and wow can she put together the most perfect alternative make up looks, I really like to see her mix of make up and then just silly videos,

Which You tubers cheer you up?