Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Oxfam Book Haul

I’ve started buying most of my books secondhand now, I like the thrill of finding current titles on the charity shop shelves. On many occasions I have found some really good bargains, and even sometimes never been read spines. On the way home from a holiday, we popped into Oxfam, my experience of the shop was extremely positive, they had a nice book, vinyl and clothing section and the staff were so friendly. I bought three books each at £2.49 which seemed okay especially as the money goes to charity.

The titles are as follows: Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven, famous for All The Bright Places, this novel is a story of a young love between Libby and Jack set in high school. I’m expecting good things from this young adult genre, my first book by the highly acclaimed author.

I spotted The Girl with All The Gifts by M.R. Carey with its bright cover and immediately knew I had to pick it up. I’ve seen the title circling online quite a bit, I believe it’s a thriller and from the creepy blurb, I’m anxious to see how the book unfolds.

I want to read more historical fiction so, The Code Girls by Daisy Styles set in 1941, seemed perfect. Ava and Maudie want to become code girls and break German encryptions and although things are tough and don’t go to plan, life has never been more exciting for them.

I have a rather generous pile of books on my shelf waiting to be read, so I definitely won’t be stuck for choice. I have a few more book hauls coming up too! Let me know what you’ve been reading lately in the comments and if any of these books interest you.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

A New Goodreads Book Win: The Invitation by Lucy Foley

I go on Goodreads most days to update my bookish status and to share reads with other fellow book worms. This will be my sixth book win on Goodreads over the course of two years which seems very lucky. I was originally drawn to The Invitation by Lucy Foley because of the stunning cover, it has an art deco feel to it. The premise interested me too, it’s a historical fiction, based in Rome 1953. Hal, a journalist and Stella a glamorous character married to another man, meet and the story starts from there. Hal, by chance is invited to a fabulous party where he meets an important professional contact and he is offered a career opportunity. And so a large array of characters are set to embark on a trip on an incredible yacht along the Italian Riviera to the Cannes film festival. I just recently finished reading this novel, I won’t reveal any spoilers just yet, but let me know if this book has been added to your to be read pile!

Let me know what you’ve been reading lately. 
Have you got any reads lined up for the beginning of autumn? :-) xx

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Birthday Present Haul 2017

My birthday was actually in July so I’m a tad late with this post, but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless. I had a quiet birthday really, we kind of spaced things out over the month, doing things here and there. On my actual birthday, I opened my presents, had a birthday meal of fish and chips and birthday cake with my family, and it was lovely. In terms of presents this year, I did things a little differently by buying bits and bobs myself in town in the lead up to the day. There were specific things I wanted but I also got some nice surprises too.

So as you can see I got a few books, I ordered Milk and Honey, a very well praised poetry book, and the next book in the The Selection series. I had such high hopes for Milk and Honey, which I completed very quickly, with it being short, I will leave my thoughts to another post. I’m super excited to get stuck into The Elite the second novel in the series, by author Kiera Cass. I spotted an adult colouring book in The Works for £2, it is beautiful, and I think I’m going to keep it for holidays away.

I seemed to get rather a lot of food items, which is okay with me, I got two baking mixes, perfect for those times you want to bake, just not from scratch. Prior to my birthday I purchased Taylors of Harrogate teas on sale in Morrison’s, I was super excited to try them out, reviews to follow. I received some little chocolate and snack bits too, I think these will come handy for my snack diaries series.

One of my most special gifts was a Lily Lolo make-up item, it’s a blush duo, I haven’t got around to using it yet, but I can’t wait! My dear friend bought me a Burt’s Bees travel set, I really like the brand, and can see the items coming in use. I won’t ramble any further, as it’s probably quicker to see in the pictures what I received. Thanks again to my family for a lovely birthday!
Let me know if it’s been your birthday, 
what did you do and did you get some lovely things? :-) Xx

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Noughty Rise & Shine Haircare

Hello and welcome to a new beauty post, today I wanted to share my thoughts on the Noughty haircare brand which is available in Superdrug. I was so curious about the range, mainly down to it being 97% natural. Free from petrochemicals, parabens, sulphates, silicones, and also being vegan and cruelty-free. And I’m sure you’ve noticed how pretty the packaging is – right? I loved the muted pinks and lilacs throughout, they are definitely very instagramable! At full price, they retail for £6.99 each for the shampoo as well as the conditioner however they are frequently doing offers to get more money off.

So let’s get down to the nitty gritty – how effective were they to use? The tube packaging made using the products in the shower very easy. The shampoo did have a faux silicone like texture which I liked and the conditioner was nice and thick in consistency. They claim to make hair shiny, which I feel they did, but I found the shampoo just a tad drying, so I decided to be more generous with the conditioner, which helped. I wasn’t amazed by how my hair felt afterwards sadly, I was expecting just a little something extra for the price. I was trying the everyday shine range, but maybe other products from Noughty could be better? Overall I was pleased but not astounded. View range here.

Have you seen this brand before? 
Have you tried it for yourself? 
Let me know what you thought! :-) Xx

Monday, 14 August 2017

A Visit to Star Buds Café in July

This is becoming a bit of a blog post series, since we visit Star Buds café most months, we are regulars now! This particular outing was the day before my birthday, and the weather was beautiful, so we decided to sit outside. There was a lovely atmosphere, and we people watched while having a drink and cake. I had the Fentilman's wild English elderflower, which was amazing, and the ideal summer beverage. They have other flavours on offer that I love too. Star Bud’s make fresh homemade cakes, and that day I had an apple cake with coconut icing, it was very indulgent.

My Dad stuck to his regular, which is a toasted tea cake, and a latte. My Mum had a scone and pot of tea. This was one of my favourite Star Bud’s outing, with it being the height of summer although going for a hot chocolate in autumn is perfect, and something I enjoy too. And as always I brought my camera along, and snapped away. I bought a Fuchsia to plant in our garden, if you don’t know, I’ve got into gardening for the last year or so.

What’s your favourite coffee spot? Do you take photos at cafes too? :-) Xx

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Kind Natured ‘Tutti Frutti’ Hair Detangling Spray

Today I wanted to share with you the last product review from my summer beauty haul I featured back in June. I’ve almost run out of my Matrix smoothing cream which is the best detangling hair product I’ve ever come across. So expectations were high to see if this Kind Natured brand could replace a much loved favourite. Although it’s featured in the kids section, I thought why not try it out for myself.

There is a different method of using it, that I haven’t tried before, it’s says “Spray onto towel-dry hair from a distance of about 20cm. Gently comb through and style hair as usual. No need to rinse.” I can see this method working great for youngsters, maybe at the swimming baths etc. I followed the instructions with my own twist by spraying as suggested but they blow drying before brushing through. I’ve been told combing wet hair isn’t great to keep it in good condition.

So what were my thoughts? I loved the fragrance, it’s quite fresh and reminds me of summertime, although I wouldn’t say it smells of tutti fruitti that much. Using the product with my own method worked completely fine, it seemed to smooth and detangle my hair on the whole and spraying it was really refreshing too. I did feel £2.99 was a bit overpriced but it’s a natural brand, free from sulphates, parabens and petrochemicals. It’s not tested on animals and is vegan friendly. Some natural products are more expensive, so I guess it was an okay deal. They have loads of other interesting products, aimed at adults and kids, I fancy the jam donut shampoo as well as the lip balms.

So would I recommend it? Yeah for sure! It’s available at Boots, link here.

Have you heard of the Kind Natured brand? 
How do you manage your hair, after washing it? :-) Xx

Monday, 7 August 2017

The Snack Diaries | Part Four

Tropical Whloefoods Fairtrade, Organic Mango
(From a farm shop, £2.39 for 100g)
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this product, but with it being 100% fruit I knew it would be healthier than other options. Also I was pleased to see its fairtrade so paying a little extra seemed okay. I did find the taste was extremely fresh but I wasn’t thrilled with the texture, it was very chewy, making it hard to eat. For this reason I can’t see myself repurchasing.

Doves Farm Organic Apricot & Chia Seed Flapjacks
(From a farm shop, £2.59 for 4 bars)
This month’s purchases mainly came from a farm shop while visiting a distant relative, and taking advantage of not having to pay for postage, I treated myself while away. I was delighted with these flapjacks which are organic, free from gluten, milk, peanut, egg and soya. They tasted healthy yet yummy, and a wonderful treat, but maybe too pricey to repurchase.

Teapigs Morning Glory Everyday Brew
(From a farm shop, £3.49 for 15 tea bags)
Teapigs is quite a posh tea brand, with all tea bags being biodegradable and the gorgeous packaging makes it perfect for gifting. The farm shop were offering a cheaper price, compared to other stockists so I thought it was a perfect opportunity to give them a go. The everyday brew flavour interested me, adding a bit of luxury to an everyday cup of tea. The taste was gorgeous, I liked the mixture of blends into one. I enjoyed trying the brand out, but can’t see myself repurchasing, down to the cost.

Pukka Elderberry & Echinacea with Elderflower Tea 
(From Morrisons, £2.47 for 20 tea bags)
One of my all-time favourite tea brands and flavours, I thoroughly enjoyed sharing the box with my Mum. The packaging is just stunning throughout the brand, and I like the colours on this one in particular. The taste is beautiful, and unusual, a mix of fruit, flowers and herbs. I can see myself repurchasing time and time again.

Are you tea crazy like me? What brands would you recommend to me? :-) Xx

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Primark & Sports Direct Clothing Haul

I visit my nearest city less often these days with wanting to budget a bit more. I do like having a nosy in my local Primark though, as there are so many bargains to be had in there. I’m always watching Primark haul videos on YouTube too. These days I visit Primark a couple of times a year, for things I need to stock up on. I think the overall theme of this haul is loungewear, for around the house as well as going to yoga. Luckily I picked up some bits perfect for that!

They had a whole stand of hoodies, basically the same one in a variety of colours, the only size 12 left was the mint green, I tried it on, the fit and material were gorgeous. I found the bargain of the day on the sale rack, this Barbie pink jumper dress was a steal for £3.00. I had quick browse in the shoe section, and they had some new stock in, mainly boots. These purple ones stood out to me, especially for the autumnal months. While walking to the queue, I spotted a beautiful messenger bag, a perfect size for day to day and some cosy footlets at the till.

I walked out of Primark satisfied with my purchases, and headed to Sports Direct. I was looking for some fashion bits I saw on their website, I couldn’t see them but tried on two styles of joggers, they were a nice fit and in the sale so they came home with me. So that’s want I picked up recently in town.

Have you been sale shopping lately? 
What things have you been liking in the shops? :-) Xx

Barbie pink jumper dress SALE £8.00 £3.00
Mint green hoody £7.00
Purple patterned ankle boots £14.00
Pink messenger bag £7.00
Cream cosy footlets £2.50

Sports Direct
Navy and purple Lonsdale cropped joggers SALE £24.99 £7.99
Grey and orange Lonsdale joggers SALE £29.99 £9.99