Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Beauty Haul (+ Eco-Friendly Item)



Welcome back and hope my readers are well. I have a beauty haul to share today, with mostly cruelty-free items, and an additional eco-friendly purchase. If you are looking to buy reusable make-up pads yourself, Gracie Goes Green ebay page is a lovely place to go. I bought a few make-up essentials, which are nearly all new to me, so I’m looking forward to sharing a few reviews here on my blog.




What I Purchased:

Ebay
Gracie Goes Green washable make-up remover pads. £5.25 (Buy here)

Morrisons
Morrison’s own brand cocoa butter body lotion. £1.00 Cruelty-free.

Superdrug
Barry M All Night Long medium cover foundation in milk. £5.59 Cruelty-free.
MUA Amplify mascara in black. £3.00 Cruelty-free.
Rimmel Hide The Blemish concealer in ivory 1. £4.49

Home Bargains
Carmex lipbalm. £1.69


Do any of these items interest you?
Do you have any related recommendations to share with me? :-) Xx

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Recent Reads Reviewed #21


Billie’s Big Audition (World Elite Dance Academy) by Kimberly Wyatt – 4/5

Although this book was a gift, and not normally something I would pick up, I found myself enjoying it. The first in the series, we follow Billie who has aspirations to be a successful dancer. She has gone through some hardships, but applies to a world-famous dance school, with the support of her mother.

I found the characters were written well, each adding something extra to the story. The theme of friendship, tied the book together in a lovely way. The element of dance, was interesting to read about, and because of this I would like to continue with the series.


Jane Blonde Sensational Spylet by Jill Marshall – 4/5

The first in the Jane Blonde series. In this hilarious and often bizarre story, we meet Jane who feels invisible at school but then this larger than life woman shows up claiming to be her godmother. According to her godmother, 'G-Mamma' Jane is something special, and in fact a sensational spylet.

It was nice to read about such powerful, and go-getting female characters. It did take a while for me to get into the story but I found it to be unique, and engaging overall.


The Twelve Days of Christmas [Correspondence] by John Julius Norwich – 3/5

A young women writes daily thank you notes to a secret admirer that sends things from The Twelve Days of Christmas. At first she is pleased with her pear tree, but more and more strange things turn up and she ends up having to seek legal assistance.

This is a beautifully presented book, perfect to gift someone around Christmas time. The illustrations by Quentin Blake are as always fabulous. The story was above average but it wasn’t one of my favourites.


Paper Girls #2 by Brian K. Vaughan – 5/5

This is a wacky, sci-fi story about a group of teenage paper girls. The plot tends to veer off into random directions, so I’ve learnt to just go with it and enjoy it for that reason. The illustrations are fabulous, particularly the colour palette and the unique characters.

I’m thoroughly enjoying the Paper Girls series so far. It’s one of those times the internet made me get into it and who can resist those vivid, ombre covers? This series has inspired me to read more graphic novels. 

Monster Cake by Damian Harvey – 3/5

This was a short and sweet rhyming book for children. The story follows a baker, who makes a monster cake, and puts all kinds of bugs and things in it. I could imagine the very young thoroughly enjoying it and it made me smile!


The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees – 5/5

I was a little late to the party with the hype of this book, but last year I asked for The Curated Closet for my birthday. I found the book highly informative, and it has inspired me to elevate my current wardrobe.

The book has a technical method to finding your style, which I found refreshing and interesting. Fashion is one of my main passions, and while reading, I gained a new perspective.

I can see a wide range of people, benefiting from reading this book, whether you know a lot about personal style or not. It’s a beautifully presented book too, with minimal, photographs and text that’s easy to follow.


Bored and Brilliant by Manoush Zomorodi – 5/5

This was probably my favourite book of 2019. The topic of social media, technology and the psychology of how it affects us is an important one that has interested me for a while. The author reflects on her experiences, including how time doing nothing can lead to new ideas. 

The writing was highly engaging, informative, and insightful. I wish I could more eloquently review this marvellous book, instead, I’m going to let you pick this title up, and find out for yourself.  


Out of these books, which have you heard of before?
Are you currently reading anything at the moment? :-) Xx

Thursday, 6 February 2020

Original Source Water Infusions Range



Hope my blog readers are doing well. Today I’m excited to share my thoughts on some new to me Original Source shower gels. I think the water infusions range has been in the shops a little while now, and I’ve been wanting to give them a go. I treated myself to some for Christmas, and have been pleased with using them in the shower since.

Original Source is one of my favourite brands for shower gels, particularly for the scents along with the fact they are vegan. I find the branding really eye-catching too, so the products are easy to spot on the shop shelves. I wasn’t sure whether the water infusions were going to be as good as the standard range, I was worried the consistency would be a bit runny, but it’s actually a bit jelly/gel like, and easy to use.

Again I figured the scent wouldn’t be as strong, but both the raspberry and rose as well as apple and melon have a prominent scent, that is so fresh, and beautiful. I don’t have a favourite of these, I love them both! The retail for about £1 each for 250ml, which is extremely affordable.

Let me know if you are going to try these!
What shower gel do you currently have on the go? :-) Xx


Saturday, 1 February 2020

Sophellie's Café Review & Tour




I’ve visited Sophellie's café a good number of times now so I thought it was about time I shared my review of it. It’s part of an open area with other things like Kirkleatham museum, a bird sanctuary, a playground and so on which makes it a good place to take families. I visit with my parents, and we tend to have a walk about on the grounds, visit the art exhibitions and go for a coffee in the café.

The café is fairly spacious, with big glass windows, letting a lot of natural light in. The staff are keen to assist and the prices are reasonable. We all ordered a very scrummy, enormous toasted teacake with a hot drink, and I went for a decaffe cappuccino. The coffee is always very good here. They do a nice selection of cakes too if you are after something indulgent. They also serve a range of tempting meals.

Do you enjoy going to cafes too?
Does this look like somewhere you might like to try? :-) Xx




Saturday, 18 January 2020

Recent Reads Reviewed #20



Lauren Conrad Style by Lauren Conrad - 4/5

This was quite a cult book back in the day along with Lauren’s beauty guide. I decided to reread it out of curiosity to see if I still liked it and also to make up my mind whether to donate it. If you like Lauren’s way of dressing, you’re going to love this book because her style leaps of the page. Learn how to have her understated, casual yet chic look with top tips and interesting sections on clothing for all occasions. Maybe a little too young for me now, but I can see this going to a good new home.

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen - 5/5

This children’s picture book really impressed me. I loved the graphic design feel to the illustrations and quirky narrative. We follow the story of a bear as he tries to get his favourite hat back after losing it. It genuinely made me laugh, and would recommend it to families with young children.


Transparent by Natalie Whipple - 5/5

I originally picked this book up at Poundland a good few years back now, and can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get around to reading it. This book is full of superpowers, romance and general kick-ass. Our protagonist, Fiona, is invisible, on the run from her crime lord father and trying to blend into her new life and make friends. I thoroughly enjoyed this story, its uniqueness, and well written romance dealing with finding a boyfriend when you’re invisible. There’s a sequel I’m hoping to get to at some point.


Starry Night by Debbie Macomber - 5/5

Nothing beats reading Debbie Macomber as we head into that time of year to get all cosy with a book. The plot is centred on Carrie, who wants more from her job working at a newspaper; she is challenged by her editor to do a story on Finn, a writer and recluse living in Alaska.

I thought the story was written very well, and I appreciated the slow build up of romantic tension between Carrie and Finn. Finn doesn’t seem your everyday romantic lead, and it was enjoyable to see both Carrie and Finn open up to new possibilities in life. The descriptions of Alaska were very atmospheric, and I felt like I was under the stars too as I read them. 


My Story (The Winner's Book) by Matt Cardle - 5/5

I’ve been an X-factor fan for quite a number of years, and have a few favourites including Matt Cardle. I absolutely loved reading about his X-Factor journey and what it was like behind the scenes. Matt’s voice really came through in the writing and there’s lots of great photos, which was an extra treat!

Great Bunny Bakes by Ellie Snowdon - 5/5

This well written and beautifully illustrated children’s book was a delight from start to finish. In this story we follow some bunnys, a badly disguised wolf and a baking competition. If you have any younger female family members that would appreciate a book for Easter, I recommend this one, because it’s rather special!


Lauren Conrad Beauty by Lauren Conrad - 4/5

I remember being so excited to receive this book for Christmas when it came out as at the time I enjoyed watching Lauren on a reality TV show called The Hills. This is just as good as book one although this time it’s all about make-up and hair. I loved the hairstyle demonstrations, as not only were they very Lauren but look easy to recreate. This is a lovely book which I can see being popular with girls from teens to twenties.

Have you heard of any of these books before?
Or have you added any of these to your reading list? :-) Xx

Sunday, 12 January 2020

My Christmas Presents 2019



Better late than never… Here is what lovely things were kindly gifted to me for Christmas. If you know me well, I tend to buy myself things for Christmas from family mostly. Of course I like a few surprises too. I enjoy getting lots of little things but my main presents this year were the pyjamas, jigsaws and books.


Jigsaws

My brother was extra generous this year, I was delighted to receive this foodie jigsaw, which from the picture looks like it will be a good one to do. My Dad got me a lovely Christmas themed one, perfect for A/W 2020.


Special Teas

I’m excited to try these!


Stationery/Notepads

I was in desperate need of some new notepads!


2020 Calendar, Diary and Craft Papers

I head to The Works most years now for my calendar and diary. 
What do you think of this year’s designs? :-)


Cosy Socks and Shower Gels

What’s Christmas without new cosy socks and shower gels?! :-)


Non-Fiction Books

Receiving books for Christmas are what I get most excited for.


Fiction Books

Some good titles there, look out for reviews!


M&S Pyjamas

These pyjamas are lovely and soft, I recommend them, if you are able to get to M&S.


Do we have similar taste in something?
What was your favourite thing you received for Christmas? :-) Xx

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Photos From My Phone #1


A book Christmas tree in a charity shop window display.
I’ve been enjoying visiting charity shops recently as well as taking in different window displays over Christmas.

A special dolls house.
In the same charity shop, this beautiful dolls house caught my eye. I just had to photograph it. I hope it goes to a good home.

A book cover I saw in WHSmiths.
I rarely go in WHSmiths, but I had a voucher to spend. I didn’t buy this particular book, but I admired the lovely front cover design.

A coffee I had in a local café.
I had a coffee for the first time in a new café.

A cool café interior.
This café recently opened near where I live, and I hope it does well.





How are things with you?
Did any of my photo snippets interest you? :-) Xx

Thursday, 26 December 2019

Festive Hot Fruit Salad



I hope you’ve all had a lovely Christmas day and have been tucking into lots of wonderful treats. So with this in mind I have a perfect, healthier choice recipe that might go down well with friends and family on New Year’s Day or anytime around Christmas. I based it off the hot fruit salad recipe in my Easy Peasy Sweetie Pie baking book by Mary Contini with a few Christmassy tweaks.

I first chose an attractive oven proof dish, and lined the bottom with banana slices. Next I cut thin slices of apple and arranged them neatly over the top of the banana. Clementines always remind me of Christmas, I peeled one of these and placed the segments on top of the dish in a decorative fashion. I lightly sprinkled cinnamon, and mixed spice over the top of everything, making sure to evenly distribute it. Then I put the dish in a preheated oven for about 25 minutes at 190˚C.

This was my first attempt at this specific recipe, I found the spices and clementine made the dish super festive and tasty. The cooked bananas at the bottom were particularly delicious. One of the easiest recipes I’ve done, I hope you try something similar!

Do you have any New Year’s Day foodie traditions?
Are you tempted you to try this recipe for yourself? :-) Xx


Monday, 23 December 2019

Christmas Morning Breakfast Cookies & Merry Christmas



I wanted to take this opportunity to wish my readers a Merry Christmas! I hope you all have a good year ahead in 2020. Today I have a little festive recipe for you. Basically these are chewy oat and sultana cookies which in my mind would be perfect for Christmas morning breakfast.

The original recipe was from The Hungry Student Easy Baking book by Charlotte Pike, which I modified ever so slightly by switching sugar for sweeter and adding a little bit of desiccated coconut.

After trying them, the oatyness and coconut really came through. I made them fairly small, so you could easily have two or three. I recommend making biscuits if you get the chance as they are a quick bake.

Have you done any festive baking?
What do you like to eat for breakfast on Christmas morning? :-) Xx