Friday, 12 May 2017

Cacharel Noa Perfume

This perfume is such a classic, and I’ve been wearing it on and off for years so the scent is very nostalgic to me. The first time I wore it was on Christmas day back in my teens when I found it under the tree, a present from my grandparents. Funnily enough this particular bottle was also a Christmas gift from a friend, and I’ve been wearing it throughout 2016/2017. Some of my favourite scents are the musky, sweet variety but Noa is a people pleasing perfume, I can’t really imagine many females not wanting to wear this whatever their age. The packaging is feminine, and for the extremely reasonable price tag you get a luxurious product.

Since starting my cruelty-free journey, I think perfume has been one of the things I’ve held onto and this particular brand is not cruelty-free sadly. Recently I’ve been doing some research into alternative brands and although perfume buying can be tricky (particularly online!) I’ve decided to invest in a cruelty-free option for my summer perfume now my Noa has almost finished. Below you will find a fragrance description of Noa. Let me know if you already have it in your collection or what’s your current go-to fragrance. Buy online here.

“Noa is classified as soft floral fragrance, a blend of top notes of fresh green and coriander. The bottom notes are of blooming white musk, with a hint of coffee. It is perfect for anytime.”

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Two more wins with Goodreads book giveaways!!

So just recently I noticed quite a lot of amazing book giveaways through Goodreads, I think maybe it must be that time of year for all the best book releases. I’m an avid user of Goodreads, I like to update my status with reviews, comments, and a general interest in books. I got really lucky in the month of April, and won two amazing summer novels which I’m so excited to read and share with you. I haven’t got around to reading them yet, but here’s a little info about the two books…

Royce Rolls by Margaret Stohl

"Sixteen-year-old Bentley Royce is the wild child of a super-glam reality TV dynasty. She has it all - designer clothes, a fancy school and an actual Bentley to drive around in. Her ambitious mum Mercedes has dragged the family from trailer park to Hollywood stardom. But Bentley wants out - she wants to go to college, escape her own storyline, be NORMAL - but Royces don't do normal (or college).

Rolling with the Royces is running out of ways to keep viewers hooked and suddenly the show is threatened with cancellation. Bentley faces an impossible choice. Without the show, she could live the college dream - but her family would crumble (they are already twenty million dollars in debt). Bentley Royce has a mission. She must use her brains to save the show; if she saves the show, she can save her family - and she'll do whatever it takes.

Royce Rolls is a laugh-out-loud funny romp with a twist of mystery - a behind-the-scenes comedy with a brilliant voice, a hilarious and subversive antidote to the Kardashians and TOWIE (which will still work for fans of both!)."

The Lauras by Sara Taylor

"I didn’t realise my mother was a person until I was thirteen years old and she pulled me out of bed, put me in the back of her car, and we left home and my dad with no explanations. I thought that Ma was all that she was and all that she had ever wanted to be. I was wrong...

As Ma and Alex make their way from Virginia to California, each new state prompts stories and secrets of a life before Alex. Together they put to rest unsettled scores, heal old wounds, and search out lost friends. But Alex can't forget the life they've left behind."

Both sound really interesting, I think Royce Rolls might satisfy my guilty pleasure of reality TV, and it says it’s a bit like The Kardashians, which I love. The Lauras has so many positive reviews on the face of the book, and can we just take a moment to admire their beautiful covers?!

What’s on your reading list for the summer? 
Do either books interest you? :-) Xx

Monday, 1 May 2017

Testing Poundland Make-Up

I’ve always wondered about Poundland make-up, as is so affordable. Luckily my Dad gifted me a selection of their range for Christmas and I figured what have I got to lose by experimenting with some of their products. In today’s post I will be sharing my thoughts on four items, so enjoy!

Make Up Gallery Glide Away ‘Frost Shimmer’ Eyeshadow Stick 

This may be my favourite from the four, the silver shimmer gives off a radiant effect to the eye lids and it’s perfect for highlighting the brow bone too. It’s extremely easy to apply with a quick twist of the stick and although the staying power is average overall this product gets the thumbs up.

Make Up Gallery ‘Black’ Plump Up The Volume Mascara 

Wow what a lovely mascara for the price, I like the natural effect it gives, and is fabulous for every day. It doesn’t irritate my eyes at all but again the staying power isn’t amazing. The simple sleek packaging is pretty and the mascara wand style makes applying stress-free.

Make Up Gallery Pressed Powder in ‘Sand Four’

I was happy to see this shade matched my skin perfectly, it eliminates any shine well but like the other two products, the staying power is just okay. It’s the kind of product which is handy to have in your bag for a touch up plus the packaging is great for the price.

Make Up Gallery Foundation Brush

From first impressions the soft bristles and shape of the brush are lovely. Personally I don’t like to apply foundation with a brush but I can imagine with the right product, this might work well. I was hoping this make-up brush would be a star match, when partnered with the pressed powder, but the application was difficult.  

I can see myself picking up the shimmer stick and mascara on a regular basis from my beauty stash. The Poundland Make Up Gallery brand is not cruelty-free unfortunately but each item is one pound which is extraordinary compared to some brands. Click here to view products online.

What are your thoughts on Poundland make-up? 
Is it something you would try yourself? :-) Xx

Friday, 28 April 2017

Second-hand Book Haul (And Stationery Item!)

Recently in my local town an enterprising bookshop has opened, which I discovered earlier in the year. It’s a charity run by volunteers and they provide free books. I’ve visited three times now, and have really enjoyed the friendly atmosphere and selection they have on offer. People can contribute books as well as take away ones they want to read; many people who come in such as I return them once they have been read. They also accept donations from the public, I think it’s a fantastic initiative, and hope they continue to succeed with it.

A little while ago, I picked up a few interesting books, and I was excited to see they had some titles I wanted to read. They offer loads of different genres, I gravitated towards a thriller, a classic, and a few contemporary novels, I was lucky to find a few brand new copies too. I’m currently half way through reading these, and I’m enjoying When God was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman. I won’t go into detail in this post about the plots etc. but you can be positive to hear all the specifics as soon as additional blog posts go up. 

I’ve included a list of the titles, if you are interested in talking to me further about book related topics, feel free to add me on Goodreads. Lastly I purchased a notebook from The Works, and I adore the message on the front. It’s A4 and has plain paper inside, I paid £3.00 for it and they had loads of other designs. Link to notebook here. Have you read any of these books yourself? Do you like my new notebook? :-) Xx

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Us by David Nichols
When God was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman
Chocolat by Joanne Harris
Candy and the Broken Biscuits by Lauren Laverne
Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington

Saturday, 22 April 2017

The Snack Diaries | Part Two

Nesquik Hot Chocolate
(From Heron Foods, price unknown.)
My brother gifted me this at Christmas, and I was pleased to receive it. I wasn’t sure what kind of quality to expect, but it was lovely. I suppose you can have it as sweet as you want by putting more powder in, the flavour was nice and a great budget alternative to the Whittard’s variety. For the best taste, I used all milk with it and heated it in the microwave.

Cadbury’s Mini Eggs
(From Poundland, £1.00)
What’s Easter without Cadbury’s mini eggs, they are so moreish too. I used this particular pack to decorate a baking project over Easter. There were a few left so I shared them with family and enjoyed them!

Jordan’s Frusli Juicy Blueberry Cereal Bars
(From Poundland, £1.00 for six bars)
These were so yummy, and a great healthier option than say a chocolate bar. The product appeared good value, the packaging was striking, and I can’t wait to try other flavours they were offering. They were juicy and moist, and perfect with a cuppa. 

Twinning’s Fruit Tea Multi-Pack
(From Co-op, price around £2.70 for 20 teabags)
Probably the best budget fruit tea I’ve come across, and each of the four flavours I loved including cranberry and strawberry, mango and strawberry, blackcurrant and blueberry and finally ST clements. The flavours were sweet and not sharp in taste at all, each as mouth-watering as the next.

What have you been snacking on lately? Do you have any Easter chocolate left? :-) Xx

Monday, 17 April 2017

Easter Weekend Photo Diary & Ramble

Happy Easter! Hope your weekend is going well so far. 
I wanted to share with you a few clips from my Easter so let’s begin…

Thursday > Star Buds Café

Our family traditionally watch the Grand National every year. We rarely win on bets but this year between us we came first and second. The winning total was about £8 so we put it towards coffees and cakes at our favourite local café, Star Buds. I had chocolate milk shake in a vintage glass and lemon flapjack. The café is part of a garden centre so we had a wander round and because I’ve been getting into gardening this past year I picked up a plant called a Hebe in pink paradise. As expected I took many photos from our little outing.

Good Friday > Baking

I wanted to take some time out to do some baking, after being so busy for the past few months. I made hot cross bun bread and butter pudding which went down well. Check out my previous blog post for all the details.

Saturday > Chill Time at Home

Saturday was a catch-up day, I did things like wrote and published a blog post, did a spot of gardening, watched some friends episodes and read some on my latest book, Chocolat by Joanne Harris.

Easter Sunday > The Stray by the Beach

We headed out early to a spot overlooking our local beach and I took some photographs, it was surprisingly quiet but I greeted a few dogs/dog walkers and managed a few pet portraits. My brother bought the Easter eggs this year from Heron Foods, they were doing some amazing deals, he got us all a Galaxy crispy chocolate bar for 65p each and a M&Ms Easter egg for £1.05 times two for me and him.

Easter Monday > Chill Time at Home

Today I will be catching up on errands, make an attempt to finish my latest book and a few other bits. :-)

How was your Easter weekend? 
Did you get anything from the Easter bunny? :-)

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Hot Cross Bun Bread & Butter Pudding

Happy Easter weekend – and welcome to a new baking post. It feels like forever since I’ve had a baking session. Bread and butter pudding is one of my go-to recipes, so I adapted this simple recipe for Easter by adding hot cross buns, a dust of icing sugar and dotting the finished dessert with mini eggs. Most recipes I looked at had double cream, which I was lacking in the fridge, so I found this simple no fuss recipe using just mainly eggs and milk with a few extras. With the hot cross buns already having cinnamon and sugar on, I skipped adding the cinnamon and only added a dashing of extra sugar.

It makes a great Easter treat for someone who wants something tasty but not overly sweet. You can add extras like I did, adding chocolate such as mini eggs makes the dish extra special. A few things I picked up while creating this was when adding the eggy mixture to the bread, let it soak in for 10 minutes, and you’ll be surprised how much is soaked in. When putting it in the oven, as long as the eggy mixture has cooked, it should be done, I checked this by wobbling the dish until there was no liquid left. It can be served hot or cold, with fruit, or cream etc., the choice is yours. I got some approval for how it tasted too!

What are your plans for Easter weekend? 
Let me know if you are doing any baking! :-) Xx

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Rhubarb & Custard Shower & Bath Soak by Treat Me

I was browsing Superdrug the other day for cruelty-free beauty products to try and they seemed to have some new ranges available including ‘Paradise’ which has some fab gifting options such as bubble bars, soaps etc. and another range ‘Treat Me’ offering some affordable bath and shower soaks in some gorgeous scents. I was in need of a new shower gel, and was spoilt for a choice in the ‘Treat Me’ section. They had avocado and wild strawberry, salted caramel, raspberry and vanilla etc. I ended up buying the rhubarb and custard which as soon as I smelt, I adored and it's probably nicer than any other product I have tried in a while.

Superdrug seem to have upped their game on the cruelty-free front, and all their own brand products have the cruelty-free bunny logo on packaging. The ‘Treat Me’ shower and bath are 500ml for £2.99 although I’ve noticed offers ongoing and managed to pick one up for £1.99 which seems amazing value. The ingredients are not 100% natural unfortunately, and this particular item includes SLS. I’m often drawn to more artificial scents, although I know some natural scents can be gorgeous too. I would recommend this product, it lathers so nicely, and leaves a lingering scent. Great as either a shower gel or bath soak. See range here.

P.S. While I was doing my product photography in the garden, my pet chickens came over in an inquisitive fashion, and they put a smile on my face as they enjoyed being included!

What beauty/bath products have you been trying lately? 
Do you have any recommendations? :-) Xx

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Lily Lolo Loose Mineral Eyeshadow ‘Pink Champagne’

Today I am reviewing an eyeshadow by Lily Lolo, it’s my first product to try by the brand and I actually received it free when I placed an order with To buy it costs £6.50 which seems quite reasonable for what you get. I didn’t get to choose the shade with the offer but the pink shimmer tone is lovely to apply all over the lid for a fresh day-to-day spring look. The packaging is super sleek, I love the monochrome vibes and compact pot. An unfortunate negative about the tub, is I struggled keeping the loose mineral product in the pot, and although it came with a divider to get a little bit at a time, this didn’t really help. I’m willing to overlook this, as the product is good quality and produces a sophisticated look to the eyes.

The effect isn’t overpowering either, it looks fairly subtle, but the loose powder can be built up for a more vivid style. They have tons of other shades to choose from too. I can see the brand being great for teens just getting into natural makeup. The good news is Lily Lolo makeup is 100% natural, not tested on animals, vegetarian (may contain carmine). Free from harsh chemicals, parabens, fragrance and preservatives. Other items by them I want to try include their blush duo and many of their makeup brushes. View range here.

Have you heard of Lily Lolo? What eye-shadow shades do you gravitate towards? :-) Xx