Friday, July 22, 2016

Book Review: Disclaimer by Renee Knight

Disclaimer by Renee Knight
Imagine you had a horrible secret, something you'd long buried in the past. Imagine 20 years later having that secret show up in print, described in a book you found in your home with no idea of how it got there or who's responsible. Disclaimer by Renee Knight is an incredible thriller and this is how it begins... There's a woman with a secret and she is reading a book she found in her home, a book she begins to realize is about her.

There's not much I can tell you about this story without giving something away as this is a novel that unfolds little by little, piece by piece with each chapter telling you something you didn't know before. It's a guessing game for the reader, or at least it was for me... I had imagined about 20 different endings before I finished reading it and each of scenario I dreamed up was more wrong than the one before even though I was certain I'd figured it out. I love a book that challenges and surprises me like that.

Primarily set in London, Disclaimer is told from the point of view of multiple narrators, taking place for the most part in the Spring & Summer of 2013. Initially there are two narrators, alternating chapters with each telling his or her side of the story. As the book progresses and the suspense builds, the reader begins to hear from other characters who have been part of the story all along, but have yet to narrate and share their thoughts. With each change of narrator, more little bits of new information are revealed like leaving bread crumbs on a trail, building and building until it all comes together when you least expect it. Renee Knight has really outdone herself, creating a story that keeps you hooked and looking for one more clue with every page turn until you're so invested that you have no other choice but to keep on reading. It took me a while to get into the book at first, but once I got into it I couldn't stop and I finished the second half of Disclaimer in only a couple of hours. I simply could not put it down. When I reached the end, my mouth was hanging open and I was so shocked. It really got me - it's that good!

Well written and unique, Disclaimer is unlike any thriller I've ever read, but if you loved Gone Girl or Girl on a Train, it is comparable in some ways and you should probably move this one to the top of your reading list!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Feel Good Chocolate

Hemp & Nib, Rose & Coconut & Goji (c/o Pana Chocolate)

Of all my friends who have embarked on a new diet or lifestyle whether they be Vegan, on a diet or just trying to healthy in general, the most common struggle I hear them talk about is chocolate. It seems everyone loves a bit of chocolate and some find it absolutely impossible to live without. Pana Chocolate was founded in Australia by Pana Barbounis, a man whose mission was to create "a rich, luxurious chocolate the whole world could enjoy." Thanks to him, chocolate no longer has to be on the naughty list for most people when it comes to their diets!

Raw, organic and handmade, Pana Chocolate makes beautifully packaged little bars that deliver big taste with no guilt. Using cacao pods from Bolivia, coconuts from the Philippines, cold pressed cacao butter from Peru, dark agave nectar from Mexico, wild carob from Spain and organic cinnamon from Sri Lanka, it's truly a global brand...

Raw, organic, handmade, low GI, dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, preservative-free and free from refined sugar, these bars are suitable for many who have a diet or lifestyle that prohibits any joy one might achieve from hoovering a Kit Kat.
I'm not going to lie... You will not find that Pana Chocolate tastes like the chocolate you're used to, but it's pretty darn close. The texture is a little softer, the flavor is a little stronger and it's simply not as sweet as many of the chocolate options currently on the market. That said, if you're not used to eating a lot of sugar and you like dark chocolate, you'll probably love it and it's a great option for anyone who's watching what they eat. It doesn't hurt that Pana Chocolate also comes in 11 rather interesting flavors that are sure to entice even the most adventurous of foodies from classics like Mint, Orange and 80% Dark to more adventurous flavors like Cinnamon, Hemp & Nib and Fig & Wild Orange. My favorite is Rose... It tastes like roses smell and it's intense!

Each beautiful box contains a bar wrapped in beautifully printed, foil-lined paper. The bars are stamped with hearts and phrases like Love Your Insides or Love the Earth. Beautifully packaged and presented, these little treats are full of antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. The result is a wide variety of chocolate bars that you not only don't have to feel bad about - you can actually feel good about them!
I wouldn't be so bold as to say that I'm ready to give up my preference of regular chocolate in favor of these bars because that would be a lie. What I will say is that I eat all kinds of chocolate including white, milk and dark. I'll eat an expensive artisan chocolate bar one day and a cheap & cheerful Twix bar the next. I suppose you could say I'm an equal opportunity chocolate eater. Pana Chocolate is a wonderful alternative that I would feel comfortable eating even when I'm trying to stay away from the naughty stuff - it's a great way to get a chocolate fix when you don't necessarily want to indulge and upset your diet. That said, this is also a wonderful product for the people who need it. Vegans, vegetarians and people who avoid gluten, refined sugar, dairy and soy can have the indulgence of chocolate without sacrificing their eating plans.

Pana Chocolate bars range in price from £3.20 to £4.20 and there are also gift boxes available with 3 bars for £13.90. Click here for more information or to buy some Pana Chocolate for yourself.

Rimmel Super Gel in Cocktail Passion

Rimmel London Super Gel in Cocktail Passion
I have been searching for the perfect coral nail color and by George I think I've found it! Rimmel London Super Gel in Cocktail Passion is a lovely bright nail polish that's the perfect warm weather alternative to classic red shades for gals who want to branch out a little.
Rimmel Super Gel in Cocktail Passion
The way Rimmel London Super Gel nail polishes work is that you apply the color as step 1 and follow up with the Rimmel Super Gel Top Coat. I generally use a base coat first, followed by 2 coats of the color and then finish with a coat of the top coat.

Rimmel Super Gel in Cocktail Passion
Rimmel Super Gel in Cocktail Passion is a vibrant, coral shade and when used with the Super Gel Top Coat, is super shiny and glossy. My only complaint about this nail polish is the thick brush, however if you have a steady hand with nail polish, it's easy to overlook this in order to get such a great looking mani at home. It's best applied with a light touch as you don't want it to get too thick. I also like to leave the coats to dry a few minutes in between.

Rimmel Super Gel in Cocktail Passion
I love this beautiful, summery nail polish and it's much more affordable than a trip to the nail bar. It's also a great thing to have around when you need your nails repainted fast and don't have time or it's too late to get a professional appointment.

Click here for more information or to buy Rimmel Super Gel in Cocktail Passion.