Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Looking forward to 2015

2014 was an odd one. In a lot of ways it was a difficult year - Health was a problem for a lot of people that I love, as well as for myself, money and work things were tough, things that we hoped to move forward have stalled and... well it just wasn't the year I was hoping for.

But... in just as many ways it was a fantastic year. I got married, for one.

Monday, 29 December 2014

Our Christmas 2014

I didn't use my big camera on Christmas, I just grabbed my little snapper so I could get a few shots. I haven't even done any bigger 'haul' style photos of everything we got because getting everything together feels like a big deal (plus I mostly got money) and Ethan got far too much to photograph - He was very very lucky this year, he got SO many books, he got pyjamas, he got board games, some creative kits and then lots of figures and lego. He got gifts from us (which were almost all massive bargains), from Grandparents and Great Granparents, Aunts and Uncles, Cousins, friends... he's a very lucky little boy.

Our morning started much later than we expected, with Ethan not waking until after 8! We snuggled in to bed and opened our stockings together before having a breakfast of crumpets in bed - In Ethan's stocking he got lots of lego, some My Little Pony Figures, some Pokemon and plenty of other little games and bits and bobs. My Mum did Azii a stocking and he, mostly, got chocolate plus some arty bits for his model painting and some socks and essentials. In my stocking I got a lot of chocolate, too, some bargain beauty products, some fluffy socks, some pyjama trousers and a few bits of stationery - My Mum does good stockings!

After the stocking fun we ventured downstairs.

Primark Haul - December 2014 / January 2015

Ok so I'm not in to time travel (though that'd be mightily handy!) I'm writing this up as a December and January haul because we're right on the cusp and these things should still be available in stores in January so you might want this showing up in January haul searches... I'm so considerate aren't I, hehe.

It's been a while since I went to Primark, I really only go when I've had a hospital appointment, but this week we went to town in an entertainment capacity! Cue shock and horror! My Mum and her husband paid for the three of us to go to the cinema and get some food and, whilst we were in town, we decided to pop to a few shops - Would've been very wrong if one of them wasn't Primark, especially as I have Christmas money to spend!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

The Lancome 'Lovely Eyes' sets would make a beautiful last minute gift - And keep an eye on House of Fraser for special offers soon!

I have heard SO much about the Lancome Hypnose mascaras that it was really difficult to decide which of the 'Lovely Eyes' sets that I wanted - I did some research, though, and looked at the effects of their different mascaras; I looked at the Hypnose 'Star', 'Drama' and 'Doll Eyes' and Doll eyes came out as an obvious front runner as the separation and lengthening is Exactly what I look for in a mascara. You can be sure I was itching to try it out and see if it worked as well for me as it did on the photos I saw during my research. 
House of Fraser is a great place to look if you want to try out some Lancome products, they stock a wide range of their items, as well as a fantastic number of other beauty items. They'd be an amazing place to pop in to if you're one of these people that does your Christmas shopping on the last few days, too, you could find no end of beauty treasures!
You also might want to keep an eye on House of Fraser between the 24th December and the 4th January (wink wink) as they're having a 12 Days of Christmas promotion which will see a number of beauty items with great reductions! I can't tell you what any of those items are (I'm not allowed to know myself, eek the excitement) but I know I'll definitely be keeping an eye out, myself, what better a way to spend Christmas money than some amazing beauty bargains?!

Monday, 22 December 2014

My December Degustabox Unboxing

I am loving being sent these Degustabox subscription boxes - There's not been a single item, thus far, that I've really disliked, which is impressive when you think about it! I love that you get a mix of snacks and some cupboard items which add to your normal repertoire and give you something different, and interesting, to cook with plus the odd little extra different thing. It's a fantastic idea for someone who needs things shaking up, or who has a limited budget but wants some extras to make their food more interesting. For £12.99 a month you get an exciting, mystery foody box which I think is a rather good bargain and if you want to get £3 off you can use my code: 9NS65

Thursday, 18 December 2014

You can't forget the pets this Christmas! Pet Present Finder fun *

You've seen me write Beauty gift guides, ones for the children, food, stocking fillers... but what about the animals?! I have to say it wasn't at the top of my list of potentials, simply  because we stopped buying Christmas gifts for our cats a few years ago (gosh don't I feel guilty admitting it?!) - Our cats are both a bit old now, well mine isn't but she acts as though she is, they rarely like to play and when they do they'll do it for a few seconds but once they realise someone's watching them they suddenly go aloof again - A bit like a tween who's grown out of her barbies.

I used to love buying gifts for the cats, though, and back when we had a dog I loved the doggie stockings you can get them. At the end of the day, for a lot of us, pets are a big part of the family so why on earth wouldn't we buy them gifts? (Unless they're moody what-have-yous of course)

Morethan have a really fun app* which will give you the chance to find the best gift for your pet, and no I'm not being over enthusiastic when I say that it's fun, it actually is. Like I said, I've not bought presents for our cats for a while, too many toy mice have been adopted by Ethan because the cats prefer sweetie wrappers. But I've had loads of fun going through the different options and seeing what's recommended - You can pick between dog or cat and then you can pick the type of gift that you like and the budget that you have and the app gives you recommendations based on those criteria.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Winner of my Personal Planner Giveaway and 10% off code

My lovely contact over at Personal Planner has asked that I write a quick, follow up post to let you know who the lucky winner of my Personal Planner giveaway was. She also has a lovely money off code for you, all, to use so that you can get 10% off at http://www.personal-planner.co.uk/EN/ up until the 25th December - The code is: D-WIML-OILT

The lucky winner of their own Personal Planner is: Laura Pritchard and I hope she loves her planner as much as I love mine! 
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Christmas with Homesense - Gifts and decorations galore!

If you saw my post about the opening of my local Homesense store you'll already know that I love this beautiful, quirky store so when I pictured what it'd be like at Christmas I just couldn't go and check it out. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to due to various issues with getting there so my, very lovely, cousin took some lovely photos of her local when she visited - She managed to capture how gorgeous the store is, and how much of an effort they made to turn it in to a real Christmas wonderland so I wanted to share some of those pictures with you. In the end, though, my Mum and I were able to go and my Mum, very much, wanted to get some new decorations to revive her collection - I went to look for some gifts and, also, get some decorations to keep aside for when we move out. (Which was all made easier to consider due to the gift card I was kindly sent)

Friday, 12 December 2014

Makeup Revolution - Redemption Palette - 'Essential Mattes 2'

It's always an exciting time when I'm sent a new Makeup Revolution palette to share with you all - It's eyeshadows, again, today and it's a real beauty. The 'Essential Mattes 2' brings a whole new selection of gorgeous matte shades which would suit so many complexions - Some of the palest shades don't show up on my super pale skin, too much, but they'd make amazing base shades or contour shades whilst the darker shades bring the colour and depth.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Half-Shell Heroes - Ninja Turtles for younger fans

Ethan's seen Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles a few times when it's been on morning tv at the weekends and he absolutely loves them - I've been a bit torn as I loved them when I was a child, too, but with him being four I'm not sure he's quite ready.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Christmas drinks and nibbles and Foody gifts guide

Food is an obvious gift idea for a lot of people at Christmas, it's probably the default option, in a lot of cases, giving people the chance to get something they are sure someone's going to enjoy (often chocolate, mm chocolate!)

Another foody aspect of Christmas is nibbles and beverages - The moment Christmas rolls around it's suddenly necessary to have lots of extra nibbles, boxes of chocolates and all number of naughty things around the house. Sometimes it's for entertaining, sometimes 'just because it's Christmas'. It's nice, though, to have some ideas about what's good to grab on a shopping trip, and some different gift ideas for those who're foodily inclined (yes, I made up my own word). 

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Birchbox UK - December 2014 Unboxing 'The Sophia Webster Edit'

Last Birchbox of the year, and it's a special edit put together by Sophia Webster - Oh the potential it holds. When I opened the box I let out a big 'ooooOooh!' there's some impressive products inside.

If the box makes you go 'ooooOoooh' too and you cant to subscribe then you can use my code http://birchbox.co.uk/?raf=19096 which will get both you, and I, £5 to spend in the Birchbox store. Also keep an eye open for deals when you subscribe, there's often a couple floating around. 

My Beauty lovers gift guide

Warning! There's a Lot of things in this post... I mean a lot. But what would you expect from a beauty junkie like me? I was sent a lot of things to consider including in the post so, in this one, I'll actually tell you if I Didn't get sent it because it makes more sense that way around.

I've got body care, I've got skin care, I've got cosmetics, fragrance and even a set for men! Beauty is a real go-to for so many people when Christmas comes around; even if we're not considering beauty obsessives it's quite easy to just pick up some toiletries or something that smells nice when you're buying for someone and aren't sure what to get. So, if you find yourself in that situation, or if you just want to get ideas for yourself or the beauty junkie in your life then keep on reading for some ideas.

Monday, 8 December 2014

My Book lovers Gift Guide

It's very hard for me to recommend books because there's So many books that I love and I read so many in a year. I was sent a few to read in order to consider including them in this and I also fell in love with some of my book club reads from this year which I think deserve a mention and I want to mention a few that I've read myself. Obviously I can't mention many of each, as it'd take a loong time, but there's just so many books that I love.

Books have always been big in my family, our family holidays were spent reading, it has always been one of my biggest hobbies and I just love books. I'm blessed to have a husband who loves books, too, and Ethan really can't get enough of books as well - I'm so pleased that it looks like my own family is going to be as book driven as mine was growing up. Over the past few years it's become more and more evident that so many more people don't enjoy books so I think it's important that, if someone does love books, we nourish it and giving books as a gift is the perfect way to do that! (If you don't know what books to get them, and they don't already have one, a Kindle is an amazing main gift - I gave Azii his years ago for his birthday and it's had a Lot of use since!)

Getting ready for Christmas with Getting Personal

Getting ready for Christmas can be one of the most exciting part of the festivities - The lead up, the planning and the making everything just, right. Sometimes it's the buying of the gifts that is most exciting, and sometimes it's the little extras like decorations or things that will help enhance the day.

Getting Personal is a site where you can browse, and buy, personalised decorations, beautiful gifts and those special little finishing touches. It's a lovely place to spend time clicking through page after page of lovely ideas and deciding which option works the best. I really enjoyed deciding which items I'd like to review and was thrilled when I was offered three things to show to you all. 

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Bargain beauty bundle of Creightons products - Giveaway

I'm coming towards the end of my Christmas giveaways, if you haven't seen my others then don't forget to check out my giveaway page: http://www.petitmoi-bigworld.co.uk/p/giveaways.html - There's plenty to check out!

Today I've got 6 products that I've, actually, not tried myself to offer up for grabs. Ordinarily I wouldn't do a giveaway for products that I've not tried but due to the crazily bargainous nature of these I thought it would be worth it - I say this because, the way that I see it is that it's the sort of thing someone might pick up without having read about, anyway, because they're So cheap and and if you do like them then you've found yourself a go-to bargain product. They're all from the brand Creightons and they're all available in Poundland so, fingers crossed whoever wins will fall in love with them and they can become a staple product that they can pick up for £1 a go. 

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Gorgeous Vaseline products to give away for Christmas

This post was supposed to come after my Beauty Gift guide but that's had to be delayed because I got another, awesome, product to include in it and I wanted to make sure this giveaway was listed early enough!

So this is what's up for grabs -  I'll just show you what's in each set.

Fun, Quirky Christmas Gifts from Catseye London

Catseye London is a brand which I've loved from afar for a little while, now, their quirky designs, bold images and good quality products are very much to be lusted after when you want something that stands out amongst your collection. They do beauty accessories (makeup bags, mirrors etc), bags and purses, home and desk items of all types with a whole range of beautiful designs emblazoned on them. 

There's so many wonderful products that it could prove incredibly difficult to decide what sort of design to go for but it's an animal lovers dream as well as being great for those who love vintage images or cute images and there's even a range with a print of a satchel on it which is really distinctive. 
It was the animal designs that I was drawn to, when I was asked which item I wanted to review, there's loads of different kitty pics on makeup bags, cushions and more. There's also bunnies and dogs of all number of breeds - When it came to choosing the item it was very difficult! Even once I narrowed it down a bit it still took quite some time to pick just one design which I wanted above the others.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Big International, Christmas + New Year, Beauty Giveaway with Makeup Revolution - 5 Eyeshadow palettes to win

That's right, I have a very exciting, international / worldwide giveaway to share with you today - It's going to run for a month so it's a Christmas and New Year giveaway and it's with Makeup Revolution. They've, kindly, offered to send the winner 5 eyeshadow palettes - I've spent some time discussing with them which ones would be best to send and I think you'll all agree that we've got together a very nice bundle.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

New Makeup Revolution! The 'All About Cream' Blush palette

Would I like to post about an 8 shade, cream blush palette that's made to the Makeup Revolution quality that we already know and love? Well, why yes, I would! And would I like it the day before it's released? Oh my goodness you're spoiling me!

When the offer arrived there was no doubt about what my answer would be - Makeup Revolution make good cream blushes, 8 of them in a palette together is dream come true material, I love cream blushes.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

My Stocking Filler Gift Guide

Now I know that stockings are a note of contention for some families - Some people don't like them at all, some people think they're for little ones only and some believe that you can have them well in to adult-hood. Well I'm 28 and I still get stockings so I expect you can guess which of these categories I fall in to which is why you'll find gift ideas for all ages in this, particular guide.
Image from the website
First I want to share a couple of charity ideas with you - http://www.sendacow.org/ is a charity that allows you to make donations, in someone's name, and give a real, substantial gift to someone who doesn't anywhere near as much as us. You can donate as little as £5 (for a Semen Straw... yup, semen, to inseminate a cow and get calves), to £6 to 'feed a child' (teach them to grow food and how to cook that food in a nutritional way), £7 (to donate a chicken) £10 (for a tap) all the way up to £205 for a cow and £1450 to make a whole family self sufficient. There's a whole range of prices and it'd  be lovely to pop a card in a stocking and let someone know that, together, you've helped someone at Christmas.

Monday, 1 December 2014

'The Book With No Pictures by B. J. Novak - Review and Giveaway

If you read my children's gift guide post you'll, already, know my thoughts on how important it is for people to remember to give books as gifts at Christmas time. The magic of a book is something that a lot of people don't always value, but if we can take a few minutes out of a day to read with our children they can grow up knowing the love of books.

I don't, actually, have a picture of the book to show you, I was sent a PDF copy to review... but I think that's quite fitting when you consider the book is 'The Book with No Pictures' - The front cover is plain white with giant text, left oriented, nothing more special than that. That said, the authors name, B.J. Novak is in blue, so I guess they pushed the boat out a little, there, hehe.

From the first time I saw a video of this book being read to a class of children I could sense the magic in it, all books have magic, but there's something very special about this one. The concept is basic... there's no pictures which is, of course, Totally boring... though, actually, it's not.

When you read this book you Have to say everything that comes up on the page... Even if the word says BLORK or BLUURF or, even if it makes you declare that you're a monkey that can read. And, so you see, here's the magic of the book - It controls grown-ups and makes them daft.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Win a Years supply of Beverly Hills 'Perfect White - Black Toothpaste' this Christmas

I've been given the chance to let one of you lovely people win a years supply of the Beverly Hills 'Perfect White - Black Toothpaste' which is rather cool. I'm not a big fan of whitening toothpastes but you may remember my review of this particular toothpaste and I really rather love it so I'm really glad I can offer one of you the chance to win a years worth (10 tubes)!

Check out my review, here, if you want to see what I thought: http://www.petitmoi-bigworld.co.uk/2014/10/even-toothpaste-can-be-spooky-this.html

Anyway, normal rules, enter via the rafflecopter, the T&C's will be below and good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

- You must be 18 or over to enter the giveaway
- The Giveaway is open within the UK only
- The winner will be picked, randomly, via Rafflecopter
- I will need to pass the winners details on to the company who I'm running this giveaway with, for them to sort out your prize.
- The winner will have 28 days to respond to my email informing them of the win, if they do not respond another winner will be drawn.
- There will be one winner (of 10 tubes of toothpaste)
- The giveaway runs until midnight on 13th December 2014

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Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com - See more at: http://www.theprizefinder.com/content/win-years-supply-beverly-hills-perfect-white-black-toothpaste#sthash.ExRLlfDK.dpuf

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Treat someone you love with a gift from Clarins this Christmas

If you asked any beauty addict if they'd like some Clarins products for Christmas, odds are you'll get a resounding yes! When it comes to Christmas it's a great opportunity to gift something to someone that they might, ordinarily, have not tried. For some, higher end brands are a little out of budget and, for others, they may have the budget but just not have got around to trying everything they want to (hard to believe, though it is, beauty addicts don't always own Everything... even if it sometimes seems like it, hehe)

A fantastic way to experiment with a brand is via miniatures and sample sizes - Clarins is one of many brands that offers up gift sets which make the perfect gift for the beauty lover in your life that wants to try things out before investing in a full size. 

Friday, 28 November 2014

Degustabox unboxing for November 2014

It's Degustabox time! It's only my second box but I was really excited once I found out that it was coming - Food is good, and the idea of getting something new, and different every month is just lovely, really exciting. I can imagine that if you've got a really simple diet it'd be a really good way to mix things up a bit, and with the boxes being £12.99 a month, with p+p included, hopefully it'd be an affordable way to keep things interesting.

If you decide you want to sub then the code '03E7G' will get you £3 off when you subscribe, making the box £9.99! 

Thursday, 27 November 2014

My Children's Gift Guide for this Christmas

It's safe to say that when it comes to Christmas there's an absolute abundance of gift ideas for Children - I could be here for weeks just finding more and more things which could make your little one's Christmas that little bit more perfect, at the end of the day, it's endless! What I have got is a few ideas, some toys, some cuddly toys, some books and some dvds which will be bound to put a smile on the face of many children over the festive period.

'The Dinosaur that Pooped...' series by by Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter - Review and Christmas Giveaway!

Just in time for Christmas I have three rather naughty, but also quite clever and very very funny books to show you (and at the end you'll have a chance to win your own set). Quite some time back I heard that two of the cheeky chaps from the band McFly had put their hand to writing children's books but never got around to getting them (partly due to my sensitivity to Ethan using words like 'bum' and 'butt' but we'll go in to that more a bit later) - I'm so glad we have had the chance to read them, though, as there's actually much more to them than just poo (admittedly it's a pretty big part of it).
I've always had a bit of a soft spot for the McFly boys due to a school friend being a massive fan - I've been in to rock and metal music for as long as I can remember so joining her at McFly gigs, learning so much about them and knowing a lot of their songs word-for-word didn't come naturally to me. But looking back on it I do still remember those times as lovely and still remember far too much about that rowdy bunch of music makers.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Azii's First Infinity Crate - Animation theme for Novemer - Unboxing

It looks like Azii has caught the sub box addiction from me... though discovering geek themed sub boxes probably would have happened irrespective of my own boxes, haha. He's had another sub box for a few months and it's been good but not exciting enough to make me want to blog about it. But last month we got introduced to Infinity Crate (Thank you Sarah!) and Azii, instantly, asked his Mum if he could get a sub from her, for Christmas.

His first box, the November box, has an Animation theme which is a theme he's had from another company but we weren't too impressed with their offerings; we really had high hopes for Infinity crate being able to pull it off much more successfully. The thing that makes IC stand out from other sub boxes is the fact that they ask you to fill in various categories of likes, when you sign up, which they will try to stick to when they put the box together. Now, obviously, you're not always going to get things off your lists, it depends upon the theme and upon what they have available (for example, if you aren't a fan of animation then regardless of your likes, you're not going to be over the moon - Thankfully Azii likes animation a lot!)

Makeup Revolution 'Lip Hug' lipsticks - With Swatches and on the lip photos

The moment I first saw the '#LipHug' lipsticks from Makeup Revolution I just knew I was going to love them - Balmy, moisturising, soft, huge range of colours... Just yes!

They're, currently, only available on the website so I had to consider postage costs when I ordered, as such I only got four. I already want more. Honestly I love them, they glide on to the lips, they are really pigmented but still sheer enough that your natural lip colour will have an effect on them, so so soft, just beautiful.

Christmas Gift Ideas - Photo gifts from Photobox

You might already know that I'm quite fond of photo gifts at Christmas - They're just a lovely thing to gift to someone (or to receive); what's more personal than something you've spent time putting together for someone, and with photos that you know will mean something to them! With digital cameras these images are so much more available to us and it's a lovely alternative to just having that standard school photo on the mantle piece. 

I was thrilled that Photobox wanted to work with me as they're a company that I associate with quality and fantastic products And they currently have a special offer on (until Thurs 27th which makes them an even bigger bargain for you all if you hurry!)

I have been given a chance to try some of their products in order to recommend them to you - I've, actually, only got one that I've seen myself to show with you but that has actually led to me being able to think up a lovely idea to theme this post by. I was asked to review a calendar and a diary but I had to explain that I couldn't review a diary, it'd be a waste, as I have my Personal Planner as well as a diary I bought a few months ago. I did look at whether or not I could order it now, for 2016, but when I was looking (Early Nov) the latest date I could order it for was March.
Photo from the Photobox website

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Organise your life with a Personal Planner - And a Personal planner Christmas giveaway!

Hello, my name is Laura and I'm a stationery addict... and a chronic list writer... and a crazy planner (who often ends up having to keep moving my plans to the next day and the next because... life!)

When I found out about Personal Planner it was like someone had answered all my dreams at once. I spend So long looking for the perfect diary, a couple of months ago, but it turns you don't Need to find the perfect diary anymore, if you get a Personal Planner you can just make it in to your perfect diary yourself!

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Gift Ideas from Snapfish this Christmas

Ever since digital cameras and phone cameras became such a big deal we seem to have, all, become obsessed with putting pictures of our kids, our weddings, our pets etc on various items to personalise them. Now please don't think I'm saying that's a bad thing, I quite love the craze, especially as it means that we're not just confining our favourite images to Facebook, and general internet, we're printing them out and making them real again!

Snapfish is one of the more well known companies that allows us to upload our snaps and get them printed out in that, mostly, outdated format... the photograph! But they don't Only offer this service, they also have various other ways in which we can use our pictures, some of which are really, rather Christmas Gift friendly. 

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Makeup Revolution - Iconic Dreams* eyeshadow palette - Swatches and first impressions

I had planned for this post to go live about an hour after my 'Golden Sugar' blush palette post but due to a rubbish Dr Appt, followed by a migraine... well it's gone 9 before I can even start thinking about writing - Grr, not how I'd planned my day yesterday!

But, this one didn't want to be held back so the post has had to be written as soon as possible and here it is! 

And here it is! The 'Iconic Dreams'* palette from Makeup Revolution! I've seen a lot of people get excited about this, on social media, and who can blame them! The shades in here are gorgeous and quite different, it definitely stands out from other palettes in my collection. 

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Makeup Revolution - Golden Sugar* Blush and Contour Palette - Swatches and First impressions

As you may have seen, yesterday, I was sent some rather exciting new Makeup Revolution products - I wanted to share some more in depth posts with you at the time but yesterday was just such a day! I had no chance of getting any posts up so I've just kept you waiting and waiting like the nasty person I am.

I was torn between two products to share with you, first, so I've decided to show you this one, and then I'll show you the other one very very soon (hint, Very soon!) 

I have one of the previous Blush and Contour Palettes, I don't think I've posted about it actually, which is very very naughty. But I'll make up for it by sharing this new offering to the range, the 'Golden Sugar'* palette (it more than makes up for my past wrongs, I promise)

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Some exciting new tea flavours from Pukka* (And some older favourites too)

We love tea, I mean Love. Not a day goes by when we don't drink it, by we I mean myself, my husband, my Mum and her husband. Ethan loves tea, too, but he's on a tea hiatus whilst we try to sort out his toileting issues (no need for diuretics when going to the toilet is already a problem haha!) We have so so many mugs in our cupboard, it's a one in one out rule, if I get a new mug that I love I have to take one of my older ones our and package it away for when we move... We all have our own, specific favourites too. I think you get my point here? We like tea.

None of the others would drink any sort of herbal tea, though, we're a Yorkshire gold tea sort of household - We like it strong and sweet. But I do like a herbal tea from time to time, too. Something a bit different, still warm, but not the same flavour I have every day - Additional to that there are the benefits of many herbal teas, starting with a lack of caffeine, for many of them, and including detox, rejuvenation and many more impressive claims!

For me, Pukka is The brand I think of when I think special teas. I trialled their Earl Grey tea a couple of months ago and it was a delicious example of that more traditional favourite; so when the chance to try some more unusual combinations came up, I jumped at the chance.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

'The Heroes of Olympus - The Blood of Olympus' by Rick Riordan - Book review and Giveaway

If you've read my review of the first book in the 'Heroes of Olympus' series then you'll already know where my love affair with these YA books came from. I was offered the first book in the series but after a chapter I realised I had to read all of the 'Percy Jackson and the Olympians' series first if I didn't want to get spoilers from this second series.

Within a week I'd read all five books from the first series and in the following couple of weeks I've read the whole of the second series too! After being offered the first book, 'The Lost Hero', to review I couldn't stop reading so the subsequent three books just fell on to my kindle, oops! Because the fifth book was new I didn't order it straight away, in the hope that the price would go down (being good with books is absolute proof that we're trying to save money, I don't do good when it comes to books) - Sooo, imagine my joy when the chance to review the fifth book happened! (A giveaway opportunity happened, too, details of that can be found below)

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Primark Haul - October / November 2014 - Plus a little New Look bargain too!

I'm just going to put a quick post together, today, to share a few Primark purchases with you; I have managed to get in there around once a month, recently, due to having to have hospital appointments and the likes - I've not picked up much as I'm having to be a lot more careful with money at the moment, but I had had a certain item stuck in my head since my last visit and I promised myself that if it was still there I'd get it. As well as that I had to get some bits for Skye, for her birthday, and I had a quick browse in New Look which led to one of my best bargain buys in a very long time.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Birchbox UK - November 2014 - Unboxing / Review

It's getting harder and harder to avoid spoilers now that it seems they're everywhere, so, sadly, this month I knew what a couple of items would be but, thankfully, they were very good items so I coped with knowing haha. I'm, actually, amazingly happy with this box from Birchbox, this month - I loved last month's and this month seems to be fantastic, too. I'd got to a point where I was umming and ahhing about Birchbox for a little while but they've Definitely pulled that back now!

If you like the look of the box as much as I do then you can use my code to subscribe: http://birchbox.co.uk/?raf=19096 - The code will get you £5 to spend in the Birchbox shop and it'll give me the same, too. A win win situation!

Friday, 7 November 2014

Wantable* in the UK - Unboxing - October 2014 Accessories box and giveaway!

I really wanted to get my Wantable* box post up on time for October but, unfortunately, there was a bit of a mix up which led to my box being late (and to a few other issues but they ended up being rather fortunate, in the end!) But here it is, anyway, hopefully my November Intimates box will go up this month too, but we shall see!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

'Falling'* by Emma Kavanagh - Book Review

Oh yes, another book review! I've been really really lucky, recently, and I've been sent quite a lot of books to read. I always have a massive list of books that I want to read but there's something special about being asked to review a book because it gives you something you wouldn't, necessarily, have found otherwise.

'Falling' by Emma Kavanagh is one such book - As much as I'd easily have considered it if I'd seen it, as it's the sort of genre I do buy from, there's so so many books out there that I'm always aware that there are hundreds upon thousands that I'd love but have just never even heard of... In fact if I keep thinking about this for too long my head might hurt (Truth be told it already does but that's nothing to do with undiscovered books, sadly)

'Falling' fits in to the thriller novel category but it isn't your standard narrative; often a thriller is told from the point of view of the police/detective or from someone who's been affected by a crime etc. With 'Falling' you're given multiple points of view, as you spend time with a number of different characters - This is a style that I love, one in which you have a number of separate people, undergoing separate experiences but who, ultimately, are linked in some way or another. I think, for me, it's because you are going through two different journies; firstly you're following the story, and secondly you're untwisting the various points of view and are learning how they all link and how they fit in to the story. 

'Falling' is a story about two, separate, tragic events and the various people who have to deal with the fallout - There's a plane crash and a murder, two things which seem to be so very different, but as all of the characters stories play out you're given insight in to how people end up intrinsically connected, despite the odds.

The story is really well written; there was no jarring text which ejects you from the story, something that really bothers me in a story, it's something I always hope won't happen when I start reading a new author. Similarly, the characters were wonderful, they were really believable and Kavanagh didn't fall in to the trap of making them too extreme in either their niceness or their nastiness; you either liked or disliked them Just the right amount, just enough to make them feel real.

The story was gripping, it was compelling and you couldn't help but keep on reading, I read the story in one afternoon/evening and found myself totally immersed. The point of view of the different characters worked really well, too, you didn't find yourself forgetting which of the characters you were reading, as is sometimes the case with multiple pov, and the sections were a good length, never too much on one character and never so little that you're left feeling unfulfilled.

I think fulfilled is actually a good word for this book - There was a satisfying sense of completion about it once you reach the end. I'm so used to books where you just Need to know more and, where this is good sometimes, there are times in which you just want to feel like you've heard all you need to from this story and that's exactly what you get from 'Falling'. Obviously you love the characters and wouldn't mind knowing how more of their lives play out, but you don't end the story going 'Arrggg nooooooo!' because it wasn't, quite, finished enough.

I really enjoyed this novel and I think it's the sort of book that a lot of people would enjoy; it was easy to read, without being simple and it was intense without being Too much. I'd definitely like to read more from Emma Kavanagh in the future.

You can pick up 'Falling' by Emma Kavanagh from Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Falling-Emma-Kavanagh/dp/0099588528/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1415204942&sr=1-1

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*I was sent this book for the purpose of review - All opinions are honest and are my own

Monday, 3 November 2014

LookFantastic Beauty box - November 2014 - Unboxing / Review #LFBeautyBox

I really liked the September LookFantastic box - I heard a few people weren't thrilled with it but I assume that's because they were hoping for cosmetics as well as body/hair care etc. I was really impressed with the items that were in there and the brands were pretty amazing considering the cost and the size of the products. As such I was pretty gutted when I missed the chance to subscribe for the October box so when the November box became available I signed up quickly and then forgot that I had, haha. So rather a nice surprise when a box arrived this morning. 

I was so good, I took a photo Before tearing the tissue paper open this time, haha! 

The card that comes with the box is lovely, very stylish chic, not in your face at all. Each product is given it's own section that's the same size as this front part which is great - You can tell the design is really important. I forgot to photograph it but there was a £10 off voucher just under here, for one of the sister sites to LookFantastic - Coggles is a fashion site which has some rather higher end items on it but if you have the money to spend then a £10 off voucher is a nice added bonus.

Even before I opened the tissue paper I could smell the box, I can't work out exactly which item it was that I can smell, maybe it's a cumulative thing - But either way it smells good, like good quality, slightly herbal products.

But anyway, smell aside, here's the products. You can, instantly, see that there's 6 good sized products here and some rather impressive brands (Obviously, all of which can be bought from LookFantastic)

Firstly we have the Monu 'Recovery Balm' which is supposed to help soothe sensitive or stressed skin - This is a 30ml bottle which I expect will last a long time as the formula is very light so a little goes a long way. The scent is floral and a bit fruity which comes together to smell a little light sweet turkish delight, I cant top smelling my hand that it's on, it's nice! The full size of this is 50ml, and costs £22.50, which means that the sample is over half the size of the full size; impressive considering that'd make the value of this almost cover the cost of the box.

Next up is a product with a real cult following; it's a real favourite to many and I've not actually tried it  yet! The Glamglow 'Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment' is something I read about a lot and have wanted to try for ages (I feel like I have a sample tube somewhere but I haven't been able to find it when I wanted to try it) - This product is supposed to be the '10 minute facial' and claims to leave your complexion refreshed for 3 days which is a very impressive thing to offer. I definitely look forward to trying this out. The tube is 15g which doesn't seem like much but it's, actually, about a third of the full size (which is 50g) and the full sized product costs £39.99 so that makes this a rather good value item.

Next up we have one of the most exciting items for me - I Love balm cleansers so this Eve Lom cleanser is right up my street. It's supposed to be able to remove, even, waterproof mascara as well as the rest of your makeup and whilst doing that it claims to de congest your skin plus tone and exfoliate too! This is my sort of product! (That's not to say that I am not really pleased with the other items too, mind you) - The tub is 30ml which is a little under a third of full size (which is 100ml and costs £55!).

Some Nuxe next - A little tube of 'Nuxellence Jeunesse' which aims to recharge the skin and restore radiance as well as making any other anti ageing products, that you're using, work even better. I do love Nuxe so am more than happy to see them in this box. The 15ml tube is, again, about a third of the full size which is 50ml and costs £47. Honestly I'm amazed at the value of these products!

The penultimate item is a hand cream with some big promises. The Hand Chemistry hand cream has claims that it'll produce visible results within 11 days, or less, which is rather impressive. It's also the best seller, at Boots, in the previous year which is quite impressive, too. I'm definitely interested to see what this is like - The formula is thick and has a sweet scent that I can't quite place; it's pleasant though. This 30ml sized tube is available at LookFantastic for £7.99.

And here's the last item, yay cosmetics! New Cid are a brand that I've always wanted to try but  have just never got around to so I was very very pleased to see a product from them in there. Even better, it's a lip pencil! (And cheeks but I always use this sort of thing for lips) - I love lip pencils. I probably would've chosen a different shade if I'd picked, myself, but then I keep meaning to try reds again so anything that gives me a push in the right direction is good! I can't seem to find these on the LookFantastic website but on the New Cid website they sell for £14 so this is, surprise surprise, another amazing value item! I am really pleased to have got a cosmetics item in the box and the fact that it's such a good one is an obvious bonus.

As you can see in the swatch it is balmy but it's got really good colour to it and it's not one that's just going to disappear when it touches the lips. I'd Really like to try 'Rose Tint' and 'Plum Cordial', they're just my colours (though I get the feeling this one might be, too, even if reds haven't been for a while).

So, yes, some of these are a little over a third, some a little more than a third and some are full sizes. But, looking at the value, we've got around £80 worth of products here which is unbelievable. As long as I've done my sums right, I've worked the all out as thirds so some may be a little more and some a little less so I thought they'd balance out, plus the two amazing full sized items... Really, really wow. I'm just blown away by how amazing these boxes are and this one is even better than the last.

Very very impressed LookFantastic, VERY impressed - #LFBeautyBox

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