Friday, 29 May 2015

The Body Shop: Nutriganics Drops of Youth Concentrate



Back in December, I attended an event at my local Body Shop where I ended up getting a really scrumptious facial. One of the products used was the Drops of Youth Nurtiganics Concentrated serum (£24). After chatting with the lovely assistant, I was really intrigued by the idea of the serum. I hadn’t really experimented with serums much and with a more than generous discount on offer on the night, I decided to treat myself and see what this serum business was all about.

Branded as a youth enhancing serum, it’s aiming to give the appearance of smoother looking skin, enhancing skins overall condition and moisturising. Made with a minimum of 98% certified natural, organic, ingredients, it’s jam packed with goodness. 



What first struck me was the applicator itself. The bottle it no normal serum bottle, but comes with a dropper applicator. The green-glass bottle looks very high-end on my drsser, but when it comes to using it, not so great. Either my dropper was broken, or just badly designed but I could never get it to actually pick up much product in the first place, so I resorted to using it as a stick and pasted some of the serum on my hand. 



Also, the word drops is kind of far-fetched. The product itself is a really thick, clear gel, so getting the prescribed 2 - 3 drops is kind of impossible. It also smells really medicinal, which doesn’t both me too much, but I know a lot of people don’t like their skincare smelling like something from over the NHS counter. 

Following instructions, I applied around a pea and half sized amount morning and night after cleansing my face, smoothing it out then patting it in. My skin felt really tacky for a few minutes afterwards so I had to wait before applying my moisturiser and getting ready. My skin instantly felt tighter, and was smooth to the touch.

After a couple of days I found it was a little too much to use it twice a day, so I took to using it as a night treatment, which worked better for me. My skin was starting to feel dry and irritated when using it twice a day, but once seemed enough to keep the issues at bay.

Having oily/combination skin I was weary of applying such a thick gel to my skin, and the tackiness was really off putting but I actually found it mattefied my skin and reduced oil production, especially on my forehead. 

I can honestly say I did notice a difference, but, it took a while. Around 6 weeks of nightly application and my skin was starting to look fresher, more awake and vibrant. I stopped using it for a long weekend, as an experiment, and within 2 days my skin had started to look a little duller. 



At £24, it’s probably the single most expensive product I’ve used from the Body Shop, but is it worth it? Yes and no. My skin looked great, there’s no doubting that, but when the serum ran out was right around the time I started to make green juice smoothies and my skin has undoubtedly, never looked better. 

Would I use it again? Yes. As great as my skin has been with the smoothies and other healthy lifestyle changes I’ve made recently, I still think a little external help can go a long way too and Drops of Youth really did give my skin a jump start. 

Have you tried Drops of Youth or anything else from the Nutriganics range? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,



Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Old websites revisited - part 1!

revisiting old websites


Pretty much the entirety of my teenage years where spent online. Every half term, every summer holiday, every weekend and weeknight. I’m talking about the days of dial-up, when I had to schedule my internet time around mum phoning her friends. When I would try and sneak online but that noise would give me away every time, or someone would pick up the phone and I’d be busted.

You know when you have those really random flashbacks to days gone by? This is what happened to me the other night, casually in the kitchen boiling the kettle and suddenly a memory of a website I used to frequent popped into my head. I then spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to log back onto said site, remembering 10 year old log in details is bloody hard! I managed it just shy of midnight and couldn’t believe how much the site had changed; which led me to wondering, how much had other sites I used to spend my life on changed?

Neopets

Oh wow, I couldn’t believe that when I finally logged into my old Neopets account, the account was a whopping 14 years old! I friggin loved this site, I would spend hours going through my daily clicks to earn Neopoints (the in-game currency), I would play for trophies in the games room, becoming a Cheat champion, and was ecstatic when I managed to find all the map pieces that would lead me to the secret laboratory where I could experiment on my faerie usual (which is now a glowing acara!). Buying something from the hidden tower was a big deal and I was constantly trying to sneak into the Snowagers cave to win a prize but he woke up every time and blasted me! I don’t even want to know how many hours I clocked up on the site! I would even go on at all hours of the night when special events where happening, or kill time before school in the battledome. 

When I logged back into the site I was surprised by how much really hadn’t changed. Nearly all the games I used to play where still there, and the unsellable junk I had stored in my deposit box was still unsellable. The site looks like it has almost frozen in time, though it still appears to be updated I don’t think it’s as popular as it once was.

Habbo Hotel

Chat rooms were a big deal when I was a teen and everyone had finally migrated over from AOL Messenger to MSN Messenger, where I’d spend weekends creating cute 100 x 100 icons and trying to come up with really cool, lyric based screen names. Habbo Hotel was the first visual chat room I remember using. I created my little avatar, a brown haired pony tail wearing girl in pink with flip flops and big eyes, and explored the hotel, from it’s roof top pool bar to the grunge club in the basement. Chat rooms where no longer line by line conversations but visual places, where on a Friday night my best friend would say ‘I’ll come by your room tonight’, and she didn’t mean the room in my parents house, but the room I had created and decorated (tastefully I might add) on Habbo Hotel. 

I wasn’t able to log back into my old account, I couldn’t even remember the username but wow, has Habbo changed since my day! I was a member during it’s infancy but it’s a fully fledged adult now. The graphics have improved but have kept the pixilated look we all loved, there looks to be groups now, even communities, games, challenges, and the ability to take a ‘selfie’ of your avatar and trade it with other Habbos. You can also now play it on iPad and android - iPhones didn’t even exists when this website started up!

LiveJournal

Before blogger, there was Livejournal. A blogging application when blogging wasn’t even a term. I loved Livejournal and used it as an embarrassingly candid online diary. I had tried keeping paper diaries for years but was too afraid of someone finding them (typical teenager-symptom). I then tried keeping it in a Word document but the desktop was shared amongst the whole family so no matter what I wrote, I could never hit the save button. Livejournal not only offered secrecy, but anonymity which any teen, more so these days than back then, is looking for. I could write anything, say anything, I could even swear if I wanted to. I belonged to a little community, mostly made up of Spike from Buffy fans and we would all read about each others days, troubles, woes, etc, and once proudly won a Most Dawsons Creek-like life award from a fellow liverjournaller! Oh, the drama!

I actually deleted my Livejournal account some years ago. I came to a point where I was just done with it, I had no more to say and had found other outlets online, more specifically fan fiction. Looking at the site now, it looks like I should have stayed around a little while longer as all I can seem to see on there is fan fiction based blogs! Livejournal become a big deal in the online RPG world, with people creating journals that belonged to their characters, some of the more inventive users even created multiple journals for the multiple characters in the world/fandom they where in. I never tried this, but read them with enthusiasm and awe at how one person could maintain so many different accounts and personas.

Fanfiction.net

This. This is what sparked my love for writing way back before I’d even decided on my A-Level choices. I’ve always been a big reader and movie buff, and when I really got into, say, a television series, I was obsessed. I shipped and when my chosen characters didn’t get together or an episode didn’t play out how I imagined, I struggled. Fanfiction was the answer. If a show came to an end, it lived on through the world of fanfiction. 

If your not familiar, it’s basically writings based on already existing media, and lots of fandom ships and shows live on through fanfiction, just take a look at the Firefly section! 

I would get lost for Summers reading bucket-loads of fan fiction for various fandoms. I dabbled once or twice in writing my own and it was actually well received - but again, none of my friends really knew what it was and I always had this fear if they found out they would think it was weird and crucify me for it - let’s be honest, school was tough enough!

What I love, is looking at the site now, nothing has changed. From what I can see, apart from being a little tidier in appearance and a change in font, everything is still the same and it’s all too easy to dive back down the black hole that is fandom (I won’t tell you how long it took me to get back to writing this post after clicking on the site!).

This is just a snippet of the sites I actually revisited when researching this post, and I lost several weekends just looking back over old sites! Ah the memories they brought back! If you liked part one, I’ll get to working on part two!

What sites did you used to frequent as much as Bloglovin and YouTube back in the day? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time, 



Monday, 25 May 2015

Things I miss about working in customer service!

working in customer service

I bet about half of your out there who might work in customer service think, yup, I’ve lost the plot for saying it, but it’s true, I really do miss a few things about working in customer service! If you’d have told me 3 years ago I would have uttered those words I’d have laughed so hard I’d have probably peed just a little bit. 

Pee free and I’m saying it, there are things I miss about working in customer service.

Incase you don’t know, I worked in customer service for almost 10 years, from my days as a checkout chick to parading around the shop floor as a clothes horse on the clothing department, to even spreading a little pixie dust magic in the Disney Store. Blimey, could I tell you some horror stories (maybe we’ll save that for another post) but let’s stick to the positive, shall we?

These days you’ll find me wrapped up in a lab coat doing something that sounds much more exciting than it really is, involving blood and other fluids that the human body contains *shudders*. Instead of dealing with the glorious British public face to face, I deal with their bodily fluids, talk about a turn around!

I can honestly say, I loved working in customer service and some of my closest friends were captured met racing down the aisles after 4pm on a Sunday when we had the store to ourselves. 

The regulars

You know the ones, they do their shopping on the same night every week, they start stopping by, saying hi, suddenly they know your birthday and appear with a card and a balloon whilst you’re battling with 5 minute to closing shoppers (true story). You get to know them, the older ones even bring their grandkids by to say hi. I loved it, I loved hearing their stories, catching up with them, and the weirdest part? I usually didn’t even know their names - if it wasn’t for my name badge, they wouldn’t have known mine. 

Face to face

I loved dealing with people, good or bad, on a face to face basis. Sure, sometimes it was bloody terrifying and I wanted to run and hide in the back where they couldn’t get to me (which I did, several times), but usually it was pleasant, even side splitting funny at times. From the underage kids trying to buy alcohol, waving car keys on my face and claiming that was good enough for ID, to the customer who dropped an entire washing machine load worth of wet washing at my feet and told me she changed her mind half way through the cycle and wanted a refund. You really couldn’t script some of the stuff people came out with and learning to keep a poker face came in pretty handy!

Plastic Turkey day

Not everyone enjoyed working over the holidays, especially on Boxing Day, or as we liked to call it, plastic turkey day. The day on which many customers would could back into store with half eaten joints of meat, partly cooked spuds, a pulled cracker or two and some not so twinkling fairy lights, all spending an inordinate amount of time telling us how we, personally had ruined their Christmas for *insert wild reason and day old meat smell here*. I never knew how inventive people could be when it came to getting a refund, and this entertained me to no end, as well as giving me some great material for my creative writing classes!

Antics

OK, so this is probably something you can only admit to after leaving the job, but blimey did we get up to some roaring antics, from trolley races to cage races, bouncing aubergines and making a whole family of box heads which we then tried to wear whilst serving on the check outs (I bottled it at the last minute but my till-buddy managed to successfully serve 2 customers with said box on his head!). From locking each other in the fitting rooms to hanging off the fixtures in the warehouse, we knew how to keep ourselves entertained and if we could involve some of the customers, then even better!

Happy to help

As cheesy as it sounds, I really was happy to help. From finding you your dress in your size to taking the partially sighted around to do their shopping, I really did enjoy helping people out and sending them on their way with a positive experience and a smile on their face. Let’s face it, supermarkets on the weekends are trolley crashes waiting to happen and I swear, aisle-rage is a thing. Anything I could do to make your trip to the store easier certainly made my day a whole lot easier!

When I worked in the Disney Store, I loved putting a smile on the kids faces, from handing out colouring pages and stickers to giving the parents more information than a Google could about a trip to Walt Disney World - having them come back to show me their photos, it gave me all the feels! *cheese*. 

Every job has its ups and downs and not every day is going to be great, let’s not fool ourselves, but could I go back to working in a customer facing roll? Yes. I love meeting new people, I love helping people, and if we can all have a laugh along the way then why the hell not?

Have you/do you work in customer service? Tell me one thing you love/d about it in the comments below!

Until next time,



Friday, 22 May 2015

Origins: No Puffery

origins no puffery eye roll on review


Fake it it'll you make it? I’m a huge fan of this mantra, more so when it comes to faking 8 hours sleep until I can actually get 8 hours sleep. I’ve been having some sleep-issues of late, mostly the fact it seems to take me forever to actually fall asleep, then when I do, I’m waking up several times through the night. Broken sleep is not beauty sleep that’s for sure. Anyone else having this problem?

I picked up Origins No Puffery eye roll-on gel back in January as part of a promotional gift set Origins had on offer. I used it on and off but over the last couple of weeks I’ve found myself reaching for it more and more as my sleep gets less and less. 


origins no puffery eye roll on review



Let’s start with the applicator as that was the first thing that caught my attention. The roll on applicator is a dream, the little silver ball seems to be permanently cold and once that hit the skin, ah, blissfull! It’s unbelievably refreshing and a fair amount of the product comes out every time with little to no pressure on the tube, so no dragging at all! 

The gel itself is a really lightweight formula, made with yeast extract and hoelen mushrooms. The yeast helps to reduce puffiness around the eyes and brighten dark circles, the hoelen mushrooms help to calm and soothe the skin, further reducing the puffiness and reducing redness. All the visible signs of sleepiness night are taken care of in this little beauty. 


origins no puffery eye roll on review



I tend to use this of a morning after a particularly sleepless night and find that it real does help reduce puffiness, redness and dark circles. My eyes instantly feel more open and awake. It doesn’t leave any residue behind and I have used it under concealer and full face make up and had no problems. 

Too much to drink last night? Hayfever sufferer? Loosing sleep? It’s one the pricier side at £24 but so far it really has worked a treat for me. 

How do you deal with tired, puffy eyes? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,




Monday, 18 May 2015

NoLIta Cantina - Liverpool


NoLIta Cantina Liverpool review

NoLIta Cantina has been popping up on the Independent Liverpool feed for I don’t know how long now, so when the lil’ bro called me up for a catch up and some lunch, I instantly knew where we had to go.

With it’s rustic, New York back alley bar decor, you step off the bustling Bold Street and into a realm of authentic, home-cooked all American cuisine. And, with American cuisine, comes American portions. You’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve sat down to a Man vs Food challenge that’s for sure! 

This menu is not for wimps, it’s for people with real taste buds looking for something a little out of the ordinary. The chefs follow traditional methods and recipes, incorporating techniques and flavours that brings their food to life

As soon as I told the lil’bro what I’d heard about NoLIta he was eager to get down there, after all he fancies himself a bit of a scouse Adam Richman. 

Late on a Saturday afternoon, we seemed to time it just right and grab the second to last table available. This place is tiny, it’s a serious hole in the wall, but aren’t they always the best kind of places? We took a seat right in front of the kitchen which is ridiculously tiny, but let me tell you, there’s nothing tiny about what that kitchen can produce.


NoLIta Cantina Liverpool review



We skipped starters and went straight for the mains. I had the slow cooked pork belly in a mulled cider sauce with a side of homemade coleslaw, mixed salad and fries. The fries were a combination of regular potato fries and sweet potato fries. 


NoLIta Cantina Liverpool review



Damn. Everything was amazing. The pork just fell apart with little to no effort and was so juicy and tender. I had no idea what to expect from a mulled cider sauce but it was terrific. I’m not a coleslaw person but even that was seriously good, and when paired with the pork belly they complemented each other so well. The sweet potato fries mixed in my fries basket were immediately picked out and devoured. They were cooked perfectly, super crispy but not over cooked and not soggy at all. 


NoLIta Cantina Liverpool review



Lil’bro wen for the not so little big boy burger with fries. Just…just LOOK at the thing. Go on, I’ll give you a minute (and permission) to stare, drool, feel the hunger pangs kick in…

OI, wipe the drool off the keyboard before you carry on. 

Clean? Good!

Anything and everything had been piled high on that bad boy; a triple beef burger covered in cheese, bacon, more cheese, onion rings, more bacon, salad, coleslaw, more cheese, all somehow encased in a fresh, lightly toasted brioche bun.

Like Adam in Man vs Food it was touch a go for a while there, as he sipped his JD and coke between mammoth mouthfuls. Battling the burger, tackling the fries, and side stepping the coleslaw (he wasn’t a fan), he inched closer and closer to victory as the bottom of the plate came into view. 


NoLIta Cantina Liverpool review



I could barely scratch the surface of my meal yet he managed to clear the plate, without breaking a sweat.

Champion. 

Great food, great atmosphere, great service. No complaints here folks!

Have you been to NoLIta Cantina? Ever had a Man vs Food moment? Who won? Let me know in the comments below! 

Until next time,



Wednesday, 13 May 2015

*Puressentiel Muscle & Joints Roller

puressentiel muscle and joint roller review


One of the goodies in my DWFitness hamper was the Puressentiel Muscle and Joints roller

I’ve started to attend more classes at the gym to work on my strength, most of which involves working out with weights - which is completely new to me! As great as it feels during and immediately after, the next few days…not so much. My muscles are not used to being stretched and worked like this, the closest I’ve ever got to anything weight related is carrying too much shopping home! 

The Puressentiel roller contains 14 essential oils designed to soothe tired and aching musches, release tightness and tension and increase muscle suppleness. It’s also aimed at backache, muscle spasms, general aches and pains, so not just fitness related muscle fatigue!


puressentiel muscle and joint roller review



I thought the roller might be a little small but it’s actually the perfect size and more product comes out than I expected. I tend to suffer with really tight muscles around my neck and shoulders, partially due to exercise, mostly due to being a blogger. Hours sitting at the table typing away writing up blog posts, comments, social media, editing etc takes its toll! I’ve been keeping this little roller near by and when the stiffness starts to kick in I get to rolling.

Much like a roll on deodorant, you simple roll the lotion over the affected area. I then like to work it in with a little massage action which feels amazing when my muscles are really tense. 

I read it was great pre work out too, so prior to my last kettle bells (read: insanely painful weights class) I applied some of the Puressentiel to my neck, shoulders and upper thighs - these are the places where I really feel all kinds of torn muscles screaming in agony the next day! Though I was still walking like a pregnant penguin the next day, I did notice that the stiffness in my neck subsided quicker than usual. I did continue to apple the Puressentiel 3 times a day for 2-3 days after the class too which I think made a big difference.


puressentiel muscle and joint roller review



One thing worth noting is the Puressentiel roller has a distinctly strong scent, so much so that I can smell it even when it’s in my drawer. It smells strongly of eucalyptus and peppermint (2/14 of it’s essential oils). Now, I happen to really like the scent, I love fresh. almost medicinal scents, and I do think that plays a big part in helping you to mentally relax - which is wonderful after an epic blog writing session as well as a physical workout!

Have you ever tried the Puressentiel muscle and joint roller? How do you relax after an intense workout? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

*Post was written on behalf of Puressentiel, but all views and opinions are 100% my own. See my disclaimer policy here. 

Monday, 11 May 2015

*Pretty in Prints


Spring has sprung so they tell me but, in the spirit of the season that is yet to fully come upon us, I’m getting all excited about the prints

Who doesn’t love a floral, an aztec, a ‘let’s-stick-a-bird-on-it’ print? I’m no forward thinking fashionista but I know what I like, what suits me and what I feel I can conquer the world in and that’s dresses - it also makes getting ready and putting any outfit together about 100% easier for the fashion-phobe in me. 

I’ve never been one for solid, single colours when you can have more fun with a print. With the sun slowly starting to peek out for a little longer each day and the denier on my tights dropping from thermal insulated 200+, brighter prints are really starting to catch my magpie eye.

Some of the dresses from the David Emanuel collection for *Bon Marche have really caught my eye. 




The painted floral side knot dress  would be the perfect day to night dress for a Springtime wedding, with it’s crew neckline, sleeves and flattering knot tie detailing. I love big, bold floral prints, paired with soft voluminous curls and a solid colour clutch. 






For a more relaxed event, the oriental print jersey tunic has this gorgeous print that reminds me of dandelions being blown across a field at sunset (you know, that Instagram picture!). It goes great with leggings or tights, and your favourite flats. This would be perfect for meeting the girls for coffee or taking Mum for an afternoon at the theatre!





New Look have got some cracking spring prints in at the minute, and if floral isn't your thing, then this navy tile print is something a little edgier. I’d pair it with some chunky wedges and oversized sunnies, hair piled high. 





When it comes to quirky fun prints, Emily and Fin always manage to win me over. Their Lucy dresses are a skater dress lovers dream, with slightly heavier fabric, fuller skirts with a soft pleat and a flatter-all waist-band, I can’t help but do a couple of full twirls to fan that skirt out whenever I wear one! OH, and they have pockets. That’s a big deal!

Do you have a passion for prints? Share some of your favourites with me in the comments below!

Until next time,



*Post was written on behalf of Bon Marche, but all views and opinions are 100% my own. See my disclaimer policy here. 

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

April Bank Holiday Weekend 2015

uk bank holiday


This past bank holiday weekend was absolutely jam packed with things to do so I thought I’d do a bit of a round up for you all. From electric blue cider to pancakes and some dockside seagull watching, here’s my April Bank Holiday weekend!

Saturday

A bunch of us planned on going to the Waterloo Beer Festival, so we started the day by lining our stomachs with full english breakfasts at Leaf on Bold Street. I could seriously live in that place if they’d let me. I washed it all down with a rooibos tea and got ready to get my beer on.

For the record, I don’t actually drink beer. But they have cider and gin too. Happy days!

We hopped a train to Waterloo and then it was a 10 minute walk in the wind and rain to the church. Yup. A beer festival in a church! I’ve been once before and the church was freezing so I wrapped myself up in a few more layers this time but I think they must have heard my chattering teeth as they’d put the heat lamps on this time - win!

waterloo beer festival liverpool


We got in, grabbed our half pint glasses and drink tokens and got drinking! My first drink was a bright blue blueberry cider. I won’t lie, I only got it for the colour but it tasted pretty good - I didn’t notice it was 7.5%….oops.

The Liverpool Cheese Company, Liverpool Nut Company, and Liverpool Cupcake Company were out in force ready to feed us, so of course, we picked up a few goodies to pair with our real ales and ciders!

Bacon. Stop, read this slowly…bacon cupcakes! They were amazing. Bacon, maple and pecan, lovely non-sickly frosting and really spongy and moist cakes! I also scoffed half a black forest cupcake and it was divine!

Onto the cheeses, Mr picked these up and when I asked him what was what…he didn’t know! I really need to blog-train him a bit better! After much sampling we all came to the conclusion they were; strawberry cheese-cake-ish cheese, smoked apple and something fruity. The smoked apple was by far the tastiest!

I didn't get a shot of the nuts but we had some delicious sweet chilli cashews that I wish I had gone back and bought more of to take home!

waterloo beer festival liverpool


More food. More cider. A cheeky Liverpool Gin. Lots of laughs. Great times!

Finished the night with pizza and friends back home! 

Sunday

I’d stopped drinking after the festival yesterday as I knew I needed to be at least semi-functional for the North West Bloggers Coffee Catch Up that my lovely Jackie had organised. We met up at Leaf on Bold Street - twice in one weekend = win! 

I was so excited to meet up with some of my favourite blogging lovelies; Beth, Laura and Helena! It’s been too long since we all last met up! After much catching up and will we - won’t we order cake, of course we ordered the cake. Well, I got pancakes, but that’s pretty similar.

north west bloggers


More chatting, laughing, catching up and planning the future of North West Bloggers. We took a walk in the sunshine, stopped off at Starbucks and got a behind the scenes look at Beth taking these OOTD pictures - insert crazy taxi drivers and more giggles here. 

Had a brilliant afternoon catching up with everyone and I can’t wait for the next one! Not every meet up has to be dozens of people in a big room with brands and business cards, just being able to get together and talk with like minded ladies who are as passionate as I am about blogging was brilliant!

Monday

Took it easier today but with the sun unusually shining, Mr and I took advantage of the decent weather and took a walk down to the Albert Dock. I love how close we live to the Mersey, having something so picturesque and beautiful on your doorstep just never gets old for us!

It was still pretty early so we felt like we had the place to ourselves, it was blissful. 

Then we saw the seagulls. I don’t know if you know this, but Mr and I have a thing about seagulls, we could seriously watch them all day long. They’re ridiculously entertaining! What caught my eye this time was one flying up about 2ft, then dropping mussels, attempting to smash it’s way inside for it’s lunch. 

I never knew they did this! I was amazed. Possibly, too easily amused too!

How did you spend your Bank Holiday weekend?

Until next time,



Monday, 4 May 2015

April Favourites 2015



You already know how this works so let’s get on with the show, shall we?

Curtains up!

Lush Angels on Bare Skin (£6.75)

As much as I loved Ultrabland, I was keen to try something new and with the weather trying to get a little warmer, I need to start getting on top of the oil slick-shine that is sure to come with summer sunshine. After a chat with a Lushie they recommended Angels on Bare Skin. I’ve got to say, so far so good. It’s derived from an ancient medieval recipe, specially formulated to absorb grease, remove dirt and not strip or dry out your skin. 

Burts Bees Mango Butter Lip Balm (£3.69)

I only bought this because of how delicious it smells, I want to chomp down the whole stick but I’m pretty sure that’s frowned upon. It’s natural, nourishing and leaves lips supple and soft, no complaints here. 

Rimmel Wonder’full Mascara (£7.99)

Bought on a whim as I really loved the packaging and it was the only black waterproof one I could find on the shelf as Boots was about to close (I was having an e-mascara-mergency). The wand is big and chunky, it coats all the lashes evenly with just a little wiggle and doesn't leave behind any spidery, clumpy mess. Lashes look full and it holds the day through without fall-out or panda-eyeing. 

Gerlinde Natural Lip Balm - Parma Violets 

I was sent this as a little gift with my latest Washi hot cloth order and I love it. I used to love parma violets as a kid and this lip balm smells exactly like them, it’s uncanny, even Mr commented on how lovely it smells. It takes me straight back to my childhood and 10p mixes on the way home from school. 





Graze Cereals (*£3.99)

I switched out my regular Graze snack box in favour of their cereal subscription and I’m impressed. It’s getting a little warm to be having porridge for breakfast so I want something lighter but tasty. The Rocky Road, Chocolate Orange and Scandinavian Fruits granolas are my favourite so far! 

Tesco Free From Natural Soya Yoghurt (£1.25)

I seem to be getting more sensitive to dairy by the day of late so I’m trying to cut back and make dairy-free changes where I can. I was skeptical about soya yoghurt but it’s actually delicious, and doesn’t taste much different from natural yoghurt. I’ve been making my own little yoghurt pots for work with this soya yoghurt topped with chopped nuts and raisins.Yum! 



Epsom Salts (*£4.78)

I’d read that having an Epsom Salt bath would help soothe and relax tired muscles. I’ve been attending a kettlebells at my gym and bloody hell I’ve never felt muscle aches and fatigue like this before. I’m loving the class but the after affects not so much! The first few goes at anything new are always a killer, or is that just me? I’ve found running a hot bath, chucking in some Epsom Salts and essential oils and laying in it oh so still for twenty minutes or so is the perfect way to soothe my poor aching muscles. 

Hotel Chocolat Cocoa Gin (£15)

I didn’t want any chocolate for Easter so Mr went and got me possibly the best alternative to an Easter egg…chocolate infused gin! On it’s own, it’s as bitter as eating a raw cocoa bean (bleh!) but over ice with some cranberry juice it’s….oh my! I love dark chocolates filled with raspberry and it tastes exactly like that but in liquid form. It’s the perfect ‘hey it’s the weekend’ treat and I’m savouring every last drop.

The Miniaturist - Jessie Burton (*£3.85)

Seventeenth century Amsterdam, a city filled with wealth, oppression, secrets and mystery. Young Nella finds herself the wife of a wealthy merchant, and just as she thinks her wonderful, splendiferous life is about to begin, she finds more secrets than answers about her new family and household that will, in the end, leave every member forever changed behind closed doors. 

The book had me gripped from start to finish and the ending left me with tears in my eyes. A powerful, moving novel that should be on everyones reading list this summer. 

The Vagenda - Rhiannon Coslett and Holly Baxter (*£6.39)

I’m only about a third of the way through but I had to give this one a mention. Not only has it took me right back to my Uni days of media theory and social studies, but it’s had me laughing out loud with every turn of the page. Rhiannon and Hollys frank talk about the representation of women in magazines and social media really hits home. Though it’s stating pretty obvious things, sometimes the obvious needs to be pointed out and shamed. If you ever needed a reason to never buy another issue of Cosmo again, this book would be it. 

House of Cards (Netflix)

The Mr picked this one from Netflix and the two of us can’t get enough of it. I’m not one for political dramas but every episode (and we’ve watched almost 2 seasons now) has me screwing up my face and shouting out loud, “they can’t get away with that!”. It’s gripping, with great dialogue, unbelievable plot twists and characters you love to hate. Oh, and did I mention Kevin Spacey? When he turns to camera and addresses the audience, I get a little shiver and reach for a pillow to hide behind - every time!


You’ve been loving…

Multi-Masking 

Why wear one face mask when you can wear a few and benefit from the lot at the same time? 

I’ve NOT been loving…

Philosophy - I got my hands on a ridiculous amount of Philosophy samples at the beginning of the month that I’ve been working my way through and I hate to say it but, out of about 6 or so different products I’ve sample so far, every single one of them has been nothing short of awful. I’ve never had that kind of reaction to a brand before, to the point where I just don’t think I can use up the rest of the samples. 

How was your April?




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