Jul 31, 2014

Beach Reads In August Giveaway Hop

I love summer reads, they are perfect for dreaming away, also if you're not going on holiday. Summer romance has a special kind of magic. That's why I decided to join the Beach Reads in August Giveaway Hop. Because there are so many great beach reads, I'm going to give away $15 to spend on summer books, winner's choice between ebooks or paperbacks from the Bookdepository. 

10 Reasons Why I Like Summer

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 1) I love fresh fruit and vegetables. Until the end of September there are so many different yummy products to choose from.

Isolda Silk Summer Dress

  2) I like wearing pretty dresses and in the summer season fabrics are always so colorful and cheerful.

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3) I like cold drinks. Drinking cocktails in the sunshine with my friends is amazing!
4) I like it when the days are longer. Light evenings are perfect for a summer dinner or a lovely stroll.

Belvi Designs
5) Summer love is special. I've had some fantastic summer romances and I love reading about them as well.

6) More happy people. Summer makes people cheerful and I like that very much.

7) I really like summer reads. The Summer of Living Dangerously is a very special one.

8) Holidays are great. I love going abroad and it's great to discover new things and different cultures. I like my job, but in the summer I will happily take some time off to relax.

9) I like to swim, especially outside. There's nothing better than jumping into a lake, the sea or a swimming pool when it's hot.

10) I like watching the sunset. It's so romantic to sit down on the sand with someone you love to watch the sun set in the sea.

Jul 30, 2014

Not Quite Perfect Christmas by Annie Lyons

A Christmas fairy tale in New York?
This Christmas, Emma Darcy has decided, is going to be perfect! Not only has she exchanged her glamorous London life to jet out to the even more glitzy New York, but she has her gorgeous boyfriend finally by her side, and her dream job comes with an invite to their super-dazzling Christmas party. Ooooh, what to wear?!
To celebrate, this year she’s planning a Christmas like you see in the movies; her tinsel-topped to-do list includes ice-skating outside Rockefeller Center, strolling around a snow-covered Central Park and Christmas (window) shopping at Tiffany.
That plan goes slightly out the window with news that her Mum, sister and niece Lily will be visiting her – that’s a lot of Darcy women, even in the Big Apple! With family drama and a work disaster to avoid too, this might not quite be the picture-perfect Christmas she’d had in mind…!
A Not Quite Perfect short story.


Not Quite Perfect Christmas is a short story about the main characters of Not Quite Perfect. Emma is living in New York and her sister Rachel, her niece Lily and her mother are coming over for a visit. Emma has a conniving, nasty colleague who tries to sabotage her, but fortunately she's got her family by her side to help her. It's Christmas time and the sisters have to wear beautiful dresses while going to glamorous parties. There are even some celebrities around. The winter holidays are romantic, especially in New York. What will happen to the sisters this time?
I liked to read about Rachel and Emma again. I highly recommend this novella when you've read Not Quite Perfect. That is a fantastic book and if you haven't read it yet, I think you should get both. Anny Lyons came up with an original story once more. This time the sisters are in New York. Rachel's traveled with her daughter and her mother, so there are three generations of women who all have their own plans. I really liked to read about their issues and intrigues. Not Quite Perfect Christmas is a great and festive addition to the wonderful original.

#Happymail Update and Giveaway!

1) I sent a huge pile of #happymail to my friends and giveaway winners this weekend. Some of them have already received my envelope, which was quite fast. When I started this project I didn't expect to receive so many positive and warm reactions. I've received a lot of Happy Mail from several of my friend and like to share the photos with you.

 2) Gurd made my day with this wonderful friendship card. I love the cute bear with the flower! She also wrote a sweet message inside which made my day. 
Sam sent me these booklets and the button. She also sent me a lovely homemade bookmark. If you want one for yourself, she sells them on Etsy.

3) I love pink and this cat card is really cool! My friend Niekie wrote a poem inside together with a couple of very sweet lines, so I will treasure this forever. She also gave me five envelopes. Until Monday I have #happymail from her every day. Isn't that amazing?!

4) Margaret sent me this cheerful surprise. I love how she wrapped it and inside the bag are some delicious Irish sweets! I can't wait to try the lip balm. I really, really like this!

5) I like owls and pink, so Gurd sent me this great booklet with matching key chain. They are fabulous! Rebecca has sent me such an adorable necklace. I can't wait to wear it!

I want to thank everyone who's sent me mail very much, it's the best surprise there is and I never expected that my Happy Mail project would make me so happy!
Because receiving a surprise in the mail is so much fun, I'm going to give two of my readers the chance again to receive some mail from me.

Bought, Ordered and Received

Crime London

1) I bought these Crime London sneakers. I can't wait to receive them! I love these shoes, because they are so comfortable and look really nice as well!

2) I've ordered this very cute owl for a friend of mine. The owl's name is Priscilla and I hope she will arrive soon at her happy new home.

3) Someone really sweet has given me this book. I can't wait to read it and I've been looking forward to this day for months!

4) I bought this wallet today. It's so cute and is a mix of everything I like; strawberries, flowers, bows and pink. I couldn't resist!

5) I also received this book today and I'm pretty sure it's a story I'm going to like very much! I'm really grateful for having such a lovely day.

Jul 29, 2014

Love Me for Me by Jenny Hale

Love Me for Me is a beautiful, touching story about coming home, the importance of family, and the special place that first loves hold in our hearts. Fans of Carole Matthews, Trisha Ashley, Susan Mallery and Susan Wiggs – and anyone looking for a perfect, feel-good summer read will enjoy this.

Sometimes you find perfect where you least expect it…
Libby Potter has just lost the perfect job, the perfect apartment and the perfect boyfriend. Moving back to the home town that she couldn’t wait to escape when she was younger was definitely not on her to-do list. Especially as it means running into the man whose heart she broke when she left.

Pete Bennett can still make Libby’s world stop with just the sound of his voice – even ten years on. Only now, she is the last person in the world that he wants to see.

As everyone else welcomes Libby home with open arms, she realizes she’s missed that special closeness that comes from lifelong friendship. And, as Libby seeks to make amends with Pete, she begins to wonder whether she made the right choice in leaving all those years ago.

When an amazing career opportunity gives her the chance to leave again, Libby will have to decide what her version of perfect is… and where she really belongs. 


Libby loves her job and her busy life in New York. She never wants to leave the city again. Unfortunately all of a sudden things aren't going according to plan anymore. When she loses her job and her fiancé she's forced to go back to the village she grew up in. Going back to Whitestone is very difficult for Libby, because it means she has to face her past. When she left to study she didn't only leave the seaside village behind, but also her high school sweetheart, Pete. It's painful for both of them to see each other again. Libby has postponed coming back for too long and she thinks everyone she used to know so well blamed her for it, but they welcome her back with open arms. In the few weeks Libby spends back in her home town, she gets more love than she received in many years in New York. Still she can't wait to go back as soon as possible. That would also mean leaving Pete, their precious friendship and all her good memories behind for the second time. Is a fast paced life among ambitious people in the city more important than family? Libby has so much to learn about her own feelings, the future and the things she wants in life, will she make the right decision?
Love Me for Me is a book about love and loss. Loving someone isn't always easy. Pete and Libby have a history together. They were friends for a very long time and later they became a couple. Libby has missed Pete since the day she left to go to college and she didn't look back. Her mother still lives in the same village, but Libby never visited the people she used to love. When she went away to study she left all of them behind. Now that she's forced to face her past she's being overwhelmed by so many feelings. I could understand that very well and Jenny Hale managed to make the whole story come to life in quite vivid way. I loved the descriptions of the seaside town and the people living in it. The story was so charming and sweet, but filled with pain too. Love Me for Me is sad sometimes, so I needed a few tissues. This is such a beautiful and heartwarming novel. I enjoyed reading it very much!

Glamping With Six Children!

I recently bought these wonderful sunflower dungarees from Asos. I decided to bring them when I went glamping with Gina during the weekend. I thought it would be a great idea to bring Marcy, Robert and Phoebe, so they could have a holiday. Gina took Brenda, Audrey and Iva. The two of us needed to look after the six of them. We did challenge ourselves, but I still think it was a great idea. Fortunately Robert didn't mind spending a long weekend with five girls. He found friends to play soccer and netball with soon enough and he liked being the wise big brother. We went to a beach town so we could build sandcastles and swim in the sea. It was great to spend time with Gina again. After all she's been through lately I was glad to see she could relax. We behaved like two little girls every now and then. It was wonderful to be young and carefree again. 
We made two kites and tried to make them fly. Most of the time we all got tangled in the ropes and laughed until our stomachs hurt. There was a food festival that lasted from Friday until Sunday, so meals were very easy. We got ourselves a lot of tickets and tasted a bit of everything three days in a row. We allowed the girls to have several deserts, those kind of things should be possible when you're on a holiday. Robert felt like he was too old for that, but I sneaked him some treats as well, because I know how much he actually likes them.
Sleeping was a bit of a nightmare. The days were fabulous, but the nights were awful. We all slept in the same huge tent. There were several beds, but there was just one sleeping area. Robert and Iva snore and I'm a light sleeper, so that didn't work very well. Gina and I had to share the queen sized bed, but found Brenda, Iva and Marcy between us every night. I hardly had any space to sleep and turning or changing position was out of the question. Fortunately I brought books, so I could tell a lot of stories. We also played a running game with them before going to bed, to make them all tired. Exhausted kids can still be too excited to go to sleep though. We heard a lot of chatting, giggling and snorting. Audrey and Phoebe couldn't stop talking and they never seemed to tire. I was so happy to see my own bed again on Monday night. I think I need to sleep for a week before I'll be able to function properly again.
All in all the holiday was a huge success. It was exactly what we needed. For Gina and me it was the perfect opportunity to spend some time together and after so many difficult weeks, the kids could use a bit of fun. I never thought it would be so hard to keep an eye on six enthusiastic and active children. We did a great job though, we brought them home in one piece. There were a few tears, but we didn't have any major crisis situations. We only needed two bandages and those were for minor scrapes. Maybe we should do this again in a few weeks...

More Book Shopping!

 I've done some more book shopping this week. I've got such a great kindle library now, I can't stop looking at it!

Jul 28, 2014

Doctor January by Rhoda Baxter

If you keep looking back, you might miss what’s standing right in front of you …
Six months after a painful break-up from Gordon, Beth’s finally getting her life back on track. She has faith in her own scientific theories and is willing to work hard to prove them. She’s even beginning to see Hibs, her dedicated lab partner, as more than just a lousy lothario in a lab-coat and goggles.

So when Gordon arrives back from America without warning and expects to be welcomed back into Beth’s arms, she’s totally thrown. She also quickly begins to see that Gordon isn’t the man she thought he was … Hibs has always held a candle for Beth, but he can only wait so long for her to realise there’s more to life than being patronised and bullied by the one who’s meant to love and protect her.

Will Beth forsee the explosive nature beneath Gordon’s placid surface before he destroys everything she’s worked for, both inside and outside the lab?


 Beth has been miserable because her boyfriend Gordon has left her to work abroad. He went away six months ago and hasn't contacted her since. Fortunately Beth has nice colleagues who are cheering her up. Beth sees her work friends as just friends, but there might be something more going on between Beth and Hibs, who is her lab partner. Hibs is helping Beth to regain her confidence, but he doesn't dare to tell her how much he likes her. Beth thinks he's a player and she doesn't see how much she means to him. When Gordon comes back Beth and Hibs might have missed their chance. Gordon is dictating Beth's life again, the question is if she will see through him and stand up for herself. Is Beth going to lose everything she loves because of one man?
Doctor January is a love story with depth. Beth doesn't have a lot of confidence and there are good reasons for it. Hibs is helping Beth to see how great she really is. It's a mission that takes time and patience. I really liked that. What made this book really special is the main characters. They are generous, good looking and kind nerds. I think it's cool that they work in a lab. The chemistry between the two main characters is there from the start, only one of them has no idea about it. That makes Doctor January such a great love story. It takes Beth a long time to understand her own feelings, which has been described in a logical and interesting way. All the characters have strong personalities that stand out. I loved reading about them. So much that I think this is one of the best chick lit novels I've read this year.

Hand Cream and Hair Products

It happens to me a lot, when I like a product and have been using it for months or sometimes even years with great results, suddenly it has been sold out. Or even worse, production has stopped entirely. Today I wanted to buy conditioner, but the one I wanted to get wasn't available. I shopped at Lookfantastic and bought three different conditioners. I'm going to try them all and will review the products I like.
It's no secret that I love hand creams. I've purchased two tubes on Asos and one on Lookfantastic. I use so many different kinds, but there's always room for more. If I like them reviews of these products will follow soon as well. I can't wait to receive my packages. Beauty mail is great, somehow it feels like such a luxury to open the packages.

Facts About Lavender

Tea Cuppa

1) I love rose bud tea. I love the way it looks and the taste is great. I think it's a romantic drink and that is probably why it suits me so well.


2) I love browsing crafts books. It's inspiring to watch someone else's creative projects. Maybe one day I will find the time to make my own mail art book as well.

Lisa Angel

3) I have an owl pillow family. I like these Sass & Belle cushions so much. The owls all have been given their own name by the manufacturer and somehow that makes them even more special.

Babyccino Kids Blog

4) I make to do lists, because I need them. I'm not organized and keep forgetting about things. Unfortunately I also forget about my cute piece of paper with reminders, so it doesn't really work.


5) I love looking at engagement rings. They are so special and pretty. I can't wait to have my own, but it will take a while because Calvin and I have only officially been together for three months. It isn't forbidden to dream though...

Jul 27, 2014

Lavender's Book Holidays 1

It's been a few weeks since I've posted my last summer holiday post and it's time for a fresh start. During the next five weeks I'll be dreaming about the most amazing book holidays. I loved Escape for the Summer. It's such a wonderful holiday read. I've recommended this book so many times already and I've given it away to friends and blog readers. Today I want to put a spotlight on it once more. In Escape for the summer two sisters and their friend go to Rock, a coastal town in Cornwall. I want to join them and watch the rich and famous. Maybe someone will take me to a great restaurant for a delicious lobster dinner, accompanied of course by many glasses of delicious champagne. I'd love to go sailing and spend my days on the water. Shopping on the boulevard is fun as well. I will certainly be able to spend a fantastic book week in Rock. The weather has been great this summer, so I can work on my tan. While I'm lounging on the beach with a cocktail in my hand I can think about where I should go next, if I want to leave at all of course...

Sunday Book Buying!

 I normally start my weeks with buying books on Monday morning. Usually I have some restraint, but that immediately vanishes when there are sales. I'm sure I'm going to buy some new books again tomorrow as well, but I just had to have these!

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