29 August 2014

I have the joints of an old lady, and it's time to try something new!


Health isn't something I have really touched on in my blog but it's something that challenges me daily.  A few years ago, when I was still working in theatre, I started getting pains in my wrists.  It hinded my lifting ability (which was a large part of my job) and my wrists would give-way whenever I tried.  I went to the doctors, but it never got anywhere and eventually it went away on it's own.  I had the occasional niggle for the next few years but it wasn't too bad until about a year and a half ago.  I was working a very busy christmas season when it came back with a vengeance.  Suddenly it wasn't just in my wrists but my knee's, hips, even my ankles!  Working was agony and even though I shouldn't have, I worked on anyway.  The joy's of of being self employed mean's sick day's don't exist.

I moved back to my parents a few months later and was forced to take a break from my then career.  It was at this point I first started to reevaluate what I was doing with my life.  I loved being a lighting technician, but I'd realised that if my body continued to deteriorate the way it was, I couldn't keep doing it forever.  So I sat back and decided to think of what else I could do.  The other love of my life was reading, so I began to think about getting into publishing, although at the time it seemed like a dream.  Luckily I managed to get a job at a local publishers, where I work today!

However my joints have not improved, in fact they have got much worse, especially recently in my knees.  The pain used to flare up and go within a week, now is staying around, just in varous degrees of pain.  It effects the way I walk, the way I sit, how I sleep.  Over the last year I have had multiple tests and visits to the hospital, but they have all come back inconclusive, I am feeling at a bit of a loss with it all.

So when the guy's at GOPO offered to help, there was no way I wasn't going to give it a try.  I did my research first of course and it's all natural with no side effects so that elevated any worries I had.  It is made of natural rose hip which is proven to help joint problems.  This is explained more in this video with Doctor Chris Steel:



I am at the very start of this trial, so I am hopeful but naturally sceptical.  I have been given a 3 month trial which seems very fair, so I should be able to see if it really does make a difference.  I will keep you updated with how I get on!

Kariss xx
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22 August 2014

Glamour Beauty Box: The Summer Beauty Edit


If i'm totally honest, beauty subscription boxes have never really appealed to me.  When I buy make up it's like an investment, usually I've read lots of reviews and done some research to make sure it's right for me.  Blogging mean's most of my influences come from reading other blogs and seeing what others are raving about.  That's why they never interested me, it always seems like a gamble.  You've got to hope what you receive works for your skin type and skin colour as well as your personal preference, I understand the excitement but I've seen a lot of disappointment.

So why did I buy the Glamour Beauty Box?  Well, first of all it's not a subscription box.  You see exactly what your getting before you order and there's no subscription.  I've bought once and I never have to buy anything again if I don't want (in fact I am clueless as to how often these boxes are produced, anyone have any idea?).  What really swung if for me was the products, at over £86 work of products for £16.95 you can't really go wrong.  Even if you were going to buy a couple of the products it would be worth the price of this box.  So here are the first impressions of my loves, likes, and dislikes.



Can't wait to try

These are the products that sold the box for me and are my favourites out of the bunch.  First up every box has a Illamsqua nude lipstick (£18.50), I received rosepout which is a beautiful pale pink.  I actually don't own a neutral lipstick and I love everything illamasqua so this was always going to be a winner.  The Magnifibers Brush On False Lashes (£21) is what really sold this box for me, I've been wanting to try these for ages and this whole box was cheaper then buying it on it's own!  Crazy!  Next up the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil £4.50 sounds perfect for my skin and is a great size to test it out.  Lastly the Bourjois Cream Blush (£7.99) was also available in a variety of shades and I received 03 Rose Tender, I've never tried a cream lush before so i'm hoping this cream to powder one should be a winner.


Defiantly going to test out

It's a shame I didn't received this Hawaiian Tropic Satin Protection (£13.99) before my holiday as it would have been perfect, the weather has defiantly taken a turn so this is probably going to be put away until next summer, but it will be great for when the sun comes out again.  I'm a little unsure about this Toni&Guy Volume Plumping Whip (£7.99) because I hardly ever blow dry my hair, I am willing to give this a go though and see if it makes any difference.  Finally I was disappointed at first when I saw this Crabtree and Evelyn Petal Pink Nail Lacquer (£6.00) as I wasn't a colour that interested me but I soon realised it would make a great colour for a french manicure.


Just not for me

Lastly, the products I just won't use.  I'm not a girl who was never self tanned, and I don't I'd ever dare!  So this Rimmel Sun Shimmer Instant Tan BB (£6.99) and Velvotan Tanning Mitt (£2.95) probably isn't get any use.

What do you think of the Glamour Beauty Box?

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20 August 2014

Books of 2014: Part 5


It's been a while since I've done one of these and it's about time as I'm reading way ahead of these posts.  This covers books 21-25 and I've actually passed my reading goal of 30 and already finished 35!  So without further adieu....


Infinity Drake - aka Finn (at least his mum stopped him being christened e=mc2) - is looking forward to a week away with his mad scientist uncle when they are summoned to a crisis meeting. A lethal bio-weapon has been released by a pitiless villain, with incalculable consequences for mankind...UNLESS Al can shrink a military team to hunt down the beast. No one reckons on Finn getting dragged along - but then disaster strikes. Shrunk to 9mm tall, Finn has to jump in a tiny apache helicopter with two soldiers and a crack female pilot in a race to avert disaster and destroy the Scarlatti - the uber-wasp killing machine that's out there, very angry, and many times their size...(And if you think that's trouble, just wait till Grandma finds out.

See my full review for this book here.

3/5


Hunter S. Thompson is driving to Las Vegas with his attorney, the Samoan, to find the dark side of the American Dream. Roaring down the desert highway from Los Angeles, they realize there’s only way to go about such a perilous task: getting very, very, twisted. Armed with a drug arsenal of stupendous proportions, the duo engage in a maniac surreal tour of the sleaze capital of the world. Their perilous, chemically-enhanced confrontations with casino operators, police officers and assorted Middle Americans have a hallucinatory humor and nightmare terror. Riotously funny, daringly original and dead serious at its core, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a classic statement on the collapsed dream of the American Sixties.

Simply put, if you liked the film, you'll like this.  There isn't much difference between them, and just goes to show how good the adaptation was.  I really enjoyed this, it's pretty crazy in parts, as is to be expected and at time this means it can be hard to follow but you defiantly can't say it's boring!

4/5


For far too long, those who are naturally quiet, serious or sensitive have been overlooked. The loudest have taken over - even if they have nothing to say.

It's time for everyone to listen. It's time to harness the power of introverts.

It's time for Quiet.

I'm pretty confident in saying that this book has changed my life.  I am a bonafide introvert with a large dollop of ever growing social anxiety.  I have gone through my life thinking being introverted is one of the worst things you can be, this book taught me for the first time that there isn't anything wrong with it.  It's just another way of being, and there are some important strengths to it that extroverts don't have.  I really recommend it.

4/5


John Knox falls passionately and irrevocably in love with Rachel McAllistair the first time they meet. He interviews her for his radio show, and afterwards, when he tells her how impressive she was, she hits him, square on the jaw. Undeterred, he pursues her, promising to love her and never to leave her.
This promise becomes his burden, as her behaviour whirls out of control. She is abusive and cruel. And yet he stays. Even when she does something so awful that his life is changed forever. And that point, on which his life turns, leads him to an unexpected connection with a man who suffered a terrible injury in the first world war.

Read my full review here

3/5


Anna has everything figured out - she was about to start senior year with her best friend, she had a great weekend job, and her huge work crush looked as if it might finally be going somewhere... Until her dad decides to send her 4383 miles away to Paris. On her own.

But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna finds herself making new friends, including Etienne, the smart, beautiful boy from the floor above. But he’s taken – and Anna might be too. Will a year of romantic near-missed end with the French kiss she’s been waiting for?

I had such high hopes for this title and although I enjoyed it I was left feeling a bit disapointed.  I had heard everyone saying such good things that despite my general dislike in romance I was really excited about it, but it just didn't quite cut it for me.  It's easy to read and cute but I just couldn't connect with it, I'm still going to read the companion novels however!

3/5

Have you read any of these books?

Kariss xx
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18 August 2014

1 Year Blog-a-versary Giveaway! Over £100 worth of goodies!


It's official, I have been blogging for one whole year!  It's come around really fast and yet at the same time it feels like I have been doing it much longer!  I admired other bloggers for so long while thinking it was something I could never do.  Then one day I thought why not give it a try!  I remember finishing my first post and being so proud I had actually managed to do it, being dyslexic I hadn't really written anything since uni.  Blogging has meant I write almost every day now, which has improved my writing style, and defiantly my speed.  It used to take me a week to write even the shortest post, now I aim to write 3 a week and I still have an list of posts as long as my arm that I would love to do!  I can only home that my writing keeps improving!

In the last couple of months I have attended two blog meets (which is a big deal for me as I am naturally shy) and I have had the chance to speak to some fantastic bloggers, both there and online.  I have just bought a DSLR so hopefully my photography will be improving and I can't wait to see where my blog goes in this next year!  One thing I would like to improve is adding more personality into my posts.  I have so many obsessions and geeky quirks and I'd really like to bring these out more and add my own stamp on the blogging world.

Technically my blog-a-versary was last month but I got so carried away with ideas for the giveaway that I pushed it back a little! So without further adu, here is what you can win!

It wouldn't be my blog if I didn't have a book related gift so I am giving away a copy of The Three (£14.99) by Sarah Lotz.  It is a new thriller described as 'Lost meets The Passage'.  It is centred around the mysterious tragedies of four passenger planes crashing at the same time, at different points around the world, and the three child survivors.  I am currently reading this myself and I am loving it (don't worry, you will be getting a brand new copy), it is written in a documentary style which makes it a really interesting and fast paced read.

You may have noticed that I recently did a review of some of the product line from Botanicals Natural Organic Skincare and I have a full size bottle of the Mandarin and Chamomile Moisturiser (£17.95) to giveaway!  You will see from my review that I loved it!

Another product I have reviewed and loved is the Blackhead Killer face mask pack (£14.95), perfect for getting rid of all those imperfections we are all prone to from time to time.

Next there is a wide range of products from W7 cosmetics! First this beautiful bright pink nail polish in the delicious sounding raspberry sorbet (£4.95) which you can combine with the Cosmic Nail Dust in Baby Pink (£3.95) for a really dazzling effect.  Then it's time to make those eyes shine with chunky eyes eye pencils in Cappuccino (£4.95) and Coffee (£4.95) as well as Style Eyes Lash and Brow Gel (£4.95) to really set it off.  Lastly The Honey Queen Honeycomb Bronzer (£4.95) in it's beautiful packaging to really give you a glow!

Now we move on to jewellery, with a pair of beautiful orange earrings ( £4.99, no longer on sale) from Lydia Rose, super cute handmade button earrings from Lymehouse Jewellery (£4.00) and lastly this stunning one off statement phenix necklace (£20.00) from Flaunt Jewellery.

There are also some false lashes from Eldora Lashes (around £4.95 per pair), there is one pair pictured but there are another couple in the post that will be added to the giveaway!

Lastly, also not pictured, we have a mini haul heading over from Primer Spa.  It's not pictured because their products are all made fresh!  Included is Cashmere Caress Spa Soap Bar with Lavender (£6.00), Merino Caress Body and Facial Cream (£4.00), a Songbird Aromatherapy Lavender Potpourri bag (price unavailable) and Aromatherapy Tealight Sampler (price unavailable).

So there you are, hopefully there is something for everyone here!  Want to know how to enter, just look below.  Good Luck!

Update!!




The goodies from Primer Spa shop and Eldora Lashes mentioned above have now arrived!  If you win you will of course win these too!  What do you think?


a Rafflecopter giveaway
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15 August 2014

Botanicals Natural Organic Skincare: Review


Ok, I have a confession to make.  Until very recently, I didn't look after my skin at all!  A skincare routine you say?  What's one of those?  The only think I owned was a basic moisturiser (which I never used) and *shock horror* cheap makeup wipes.  One of the first things I bought as a result of blogging was a micellar water (which I still rave about now!) but other then I still hadn't really got into my skin care.  That is until recently, when I went for my first ever facial.  They were not impressed by my skin and even less so with my skincare routine (or lack of one).  So since then I have been trying out a few different products to see what works with my skin, and what a difference they can really make.  Starting out with a moisturiser and cleanser from Botanicals Natural Organic Skincare.

As far as skincare was concerned, I thought starting off with something that was organic was the best way to go.  Your skin is a living organ so treating it with natural ingredients seems to make the most sense to me.  My skin is naturally oily but I do get dry patches (usually my own fault for not drinking enough water!) so I started with a cleanser.

The cleanser I've been using is the Botanicals Cleansing Melt in Mandarin and Chamomile, I chose the mandarin and chamomile range rather then then the rose and chamomile due to my oily skin.  This product is really unusual, when you first open it looks like a solid wax, but when you take some out and rub it between your fingers for a second or two and it quickly melts until it has an oil like texture.  I don't know if this is just a gimmick or there is actually some reason for it but personally I love it, it feels really luxurious on my kin and is easy to apply and remove.  I can't say it has worked miracles just yet but it has defiantly helped improve my skin.

I have also been using the Botanicals Mandarin and Chamomile Moisturiser, this is a light, refreshing moisturiser that still packs enough clout to really nourish your skin.  Even when I was really ill and got very dry skin this managed to combat it, it feels really soothing when applied.

I love how natural this collection is, the scents of both products are really organic too and it makes a change from being really in your face as some products are.  I would really recommend trying these products out, in fact I have my eye on this starter kit.

How do you feel about natural skincare?

These product was sent to me for review, all opinion are my own and are completely honest
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11 August 2014

My Mac Lipsticks

Hi! My name is Bel and I blog over at www.JourneysAreMyDiary.com
Kariss wrote a guest post for me back in April, while I was away,
so since she was going away this time, I thought it would be nice to guest post for her!
Thanks for reading and please feel free to pop by my blog!

Anyone who reads my blog or knows me personally, will tell you that I've never really been one for make up or even beauty generally. However this year, mostly because of blogging, I've tried a little harder to make some effort when it comes to make up! This has resulted in me spending a lot of money on some higher end products, but I have to admit I've been pretty pleased with them overall. One of my favourite things of all, is my newly developing M.A.C. lipstick collection! It's sad, but I feel very protective over it.


I bought my first ever M.A.C. lipstick (Viva Glam VI) from a website called Cohorted. It was a bargain at £12. As soon as it arrived, I tried it out and my first thought was not just how well it applied, but also how lovely it smelt! Within a week or so, I had picked up another M.A.C. lipstick - this time Angel. It smelt equally as nice and at this point I think I was in love with these lipsticks. 


After much deliberation, I picked up Party Line from Ebay. One of my best friends Amy, had posted a picture of herself wearing it on Instagram and I loved the colour. It was a total bargain at £9.99 including free postage. Not long after, Amy bought me another M.A.C. lipstick to add to my collection, for my birthday. This time it was especially funky looking, a collection called Alluring Aquatics, specifically called Mystical.


Finally, only a few weeks ago, I treated myself to another lipstick from Cohorted, this time called Morange. While the colour is incredibly loud, I actually love it - perhaps because its just not my normal style. Not only that, but I entered a weekly competition for Lipcote, where you "post your pout". I won that week and I was wearing Morange, so perhaps that's another reason I love it. Even better, my prize for winning the competition was a M.A.C. lipstick, apparently in All Out Gorgeous. Sadly I haven't received it yet, but fingers crossed!


As I write this post, Cohorted goes live again tonight. I'm thrilled to see yet another M.A.C. lipstick on offer! This time its a colour called Show Orchid and though its a very vivid pink colour, I think I might have to treat myself!

In my quest to make more effort with make up, I've definitely found an addiction to M.A.C. lipstick. I've possibly also developed one with Urban Decay. However that addiction will need to be saved for a whole different post...

Are you addicted to one particular brand of make-up? 
Do you have a M.A.C. lipstick colour to recommend?

Thanks so much for reading my post and please pop over and see my at:

Journeys Are My Diary!
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8 August 2014

Hogwarts House Fashion

Kariss has once again allowed me to guest post on her blog because she's a total babe! Today I'm bringing you a Harry Potter themed post. When I first met Kariss, 8 years ago, I was horrified to find out that she wasn't a Harry Potter fan. It had become an important factor in my friendships and both Bee and my other best friend Jess were fans, so for Kariss not to be, it was definitely a shock horror factor. So imagine just how happy I was when a few years back she decided to read the book and watch the movies, and finally join the Hogwarts club! Since then we have managed to cram a few fan girl moments that we missed when the final book & movies were released.

So in honour of our mutual love of the Potter, I've put together a post on how to dress to represent your Hogwarts house without strutting around in £150 robes from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I'm a Ravenclaw and Kariss is a Hufflepuff (athough Pottermore shoved us both in Gryffindor, yack!) but I've also put together an outfit for said Gryffindor and of course Slytherin. If you're not a Potterhead then this post isn't for you, and i'm now sat here wondering why the hell you're not, but go figure.

Hope you enjoy this post as much as Kariss will be enjoying Skiathos (lucky so in so, my parents have just come back from there and they say it's lovely... but it is their 9th time!)





I've started with my house, Ravenclaw, because it's the best. Ravenclaw colours are navy blue and bronze sort of shade, so obviously, that's what I've gone for. Ravenclaw is also the house of the brainy people and I also like to think it's where the nerds and geeks would all hang out. Of course, who is to say we don't need to look shit hot too? That's where this outfit comes in. I've chosen this Dark Denim Shift Dress by Sugarhill Boutique, because if you also follow my blog you'll know how much I love the label. Paired with these Bronze Tassle Shoes from Mango, which not only look good but they're practical for when you need to run to the library. And completing the look with these Suuna Bronze Oversized Sunglasses. Okay so they're not you're regular glasses that you'd stereotype with the brainy house, but glasses are glasses, right?





It would be rude if I didn't do Kariss' house next, which as I mentioned above, is Hufflepuff. Now if you're a fan of Harry Potter you'll know Hufflepuff tends to be as undesirable as Slytherin (although I kinda wouldn't mind being Slytherin ha) but never mind. Lets not get into the politics! Hufflepuff's colours are yellow and black, which was a surprisingly nice combination to put together an outfit for. Since Hufflepuff is notoriously known as the loser house, I've been kind enough to choose a more edgier outfit, maybe you could earn your house some street cred? I've gone for another Sugarhill Boutique dress, this time the Dahlia Dress. This with the b.young Black Leather Jacket and a pair of Black Chelsea Boots from New Look and you're all set. 


Next up, I'll do Slytherin. In the books, Slytherin is the home to all the future dark wizards and witches, nowadays I just think it's the "bad ass" house. Or even the "cool" house, not a house I would ever be in but definitely the house I'd secretly want to be in. The house colours are dark green and silver. Again, a really nice colour combo to work with, although saying that, it was so hard to find the right colour green dress! I finally came across this Brocade Green Dress which is probably a little too classy for those Slytherin ladies, but oh well.. I managed to find some kick ass Silver Flatforms to grunge it up and finish the look with a chunky Silver Statement Necklace from Scarlett Fashion.



Finally, the house for some reason everyone wants to be in, Gryffindor! I think that's the reason I wouldn't want to be in it. Anyway, those who are brave at heart need to sport burgundy (or another shade of dark red) and gold. I actually found this the hardest because no matter what combination I put together the outfit ended up looking like a Gryffindor scarf, so I've just ended up sharing my favourite scarf-looking combination with you. The dress this time is, Yumi, and it's actually one I've been lusting after for a while, the Classic Red Lace Shift. To finish off the look I'd go for these Jive Leather Sandals and the Missco Girl Twistlock Bag.


If you want something more in your face you could always take a look at the Black Milk Clothing range, or if you're into the casual Truffle Shuffle stocks some fab house tees. But whatever you go for, remember it's your house you're representing so don't be a dick! 

Thanks for reading and thanks for having me Kariss, you can find me over at Cocktails in Teacups.

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4 August 2014

Lush Solid Perfumes: Review


This post was originally written as a guest post for Bel's blog several months ago but with me going away I thought I would share it with my own readers! This is about one of the lesser discussed Lush products, their solid perfume range.  As much as well all love a bath bomb I thought I would choose something different to talk about today to mix things up a bit!

I had been trying to choose a perfume for quite a while but nothing really stood out to me, I've had lots of different perfumes over the years but I've never really had a signiture scent.  Then last month when shopping in Meadowhall with a friend I came across Lush's solid perfume range and picked up two, Vannilary and Karma.

Vannilary, £6.50, Lush

Now if I had to pick a favourite smell vanilla would be up there, so naturally I gravitated strait towards this.  It's a lovely sweet smell that can be over powering if your not a fan of sugary smells, personally I love them (I'm the girl who always picks the birthday cake/ frosting scented candles that everyone else claims are too sickly) so for me this isn't a problem.

Karma, £5.00, Lush

At the same time I picked up Karma, despite it being orange in colour it isn't really a citrus sent.  In fact it's really hard to describe the smell, it's a little fruity with a lot of spice (sounds like the blurb for a surcy novel).  Unlike Vanillery this is a unisex sent, so share and share a like!  Personally to me this just reminds me of clean baths, which I assume is because they have had this sent in a bubble bar at some point, and that's fine with me!

I am completely converted to solid perfumes, which took me by surprise!  First up they are so much cheaper, when I was browsing for something new I easily expected to pay £40 for a bottle, but both of these perfumes came to just over £11.00!  Also because it's a solid perfume and not from a spritzer it lasts way longer, both in terms of the product itself and on your skin.  These tubes come as just one solid block, and as you only need a couple of swipes of the product on your skin to work it's magic I know these are going to last me a hell of a long time!  Also unlike regular perfume, this seems to have a longer lasting effect on my skin, I defiantly notice it more throughout the day, and if you think your lagging, just rubbing your wrists together will 'reactivate' the product and makes it last that little bit longer.  Worried you might need more? No problem, these tubes are so tiny they will easily fit in a purse, there so compact they take up hardly any room, and because it's not liquid you can even keep it on your hand luggage on holiday.  On my skin I was worried it would feel sticky but it isn't at all, its slides on totally smoothly and leaves no residue other then a slight shimmer which soon disapears.  I have to say, I can't see me going back to regular perfume any time soon, now I just have to be careful not to buy one in every sent!

Kariss xx
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1 August 2014

Southend-on-Sea


Myself and Harry went to explore Southend last weekend after deciding we wanted a day out at the seaside.  We chose Southend because it was the closest to where Harry lives and has the reputation of being the quintessential British seaside town.  So despite the terrible forecast we took off to check out the sights.














We got lucky and it was actually a really hot day!  It looked just like we were abroad and I was really surprised by Southend.  It wasn't nearly as tacky as the seaside town's near me up north and I adore the retro signage.

What's your favourite seaside town?

P.S I've changed my photo layout in this post, what do you think?
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