31 October 2014

Degustabox: Food Subscription Box


Degustbox is a monthly food subscription box, that includes products that are new to the market as well as those already widely loved, with an option of including alcohol.  For £12.99 a month you get between 9 to 14 surprise items straight to your door.


I received Septembers box to try out, and my initial impression was a good one.  The box I received was much larger then I was expecting, it was huge! And I love the packaging.  The box design is really cute and defiantly a stand out, I always appreciate these little touches.

You can see in above the range of products I received.  Everything from snacks, to cereal, to health drinks.  I hadn't tried any of these products here before so it was all a new experience to me.  My favourites are the mint chocolate thins, which didn't even make it to these photos been taken, and the Crabbies, which I am waiting to drink with my boyfriend this weekend.  There is nothing here I personally didn't like and I think the products included are new, but not so obscure or strange they wouldn't appeal to most people, so it's pretty much a safe bet.

This subscription box is unlike other food subscriptions I've seen in that it is unrestricted.  Most have a theme such as health, vegan etc but this i almost limitless, so I think the success of this box for you depends on what kind of person you are.  Like surprises?  Then get on board.  However if you like to know a bit more about what your getting and would like a bit more control, then this might not be for you.  This is a box for the people who like surprises, without having to risk being too adventurous.

What is you favourite item in the September box?
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29 October 2014

Osteoarthritis in the UK*

As you might remember from my post about my joint troubles, osteoarthritis is something that runs in my family, and joint pains is an issue that I deal with daily.  If it's something you also worry about this info graph from the people over at Stannah could be of use for you, after all it effects people of all ages!


*this post contains sponsored content
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27 October 2014

#SheffieldBBloggers Goodiebag


As you will have seen from my #Sheffieldbbloggers meet post we were kindly given on hell of a goodie bag, so I thought I would use today's post as an opportunity to share with you the fantastic brands who were nice enough to want to share there products with us.

Our bags (donated to us by The Blogger Program) contained products or vouchers from the following brands:

Flurt Frozen Yoghurt

The products I personally can not wait to try out are the Give Me Nightmares palette by Makeup Revolution (such pretty colours), the hand cream from The Somerset Toiletry Co (which looks super luxurious), the Urban Decay eyeshadow primer and the Crownbrush eye brush to name a few!  The Vanilla SHimmer Midi ring I havn't actually taken off since I got it, because of my tiny hands it fits onto my pinky like a normal ring!

Which of these are you dying to try?

Kariss xx
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24 October 2014

#LushChristmas Launch at Lush Spa Leeds


On Wednesday I was lucky enough to be invited to the Lush Christmas launch at the Leeds store, yes, that's the shop next to the Lush spa (it's a dream of mine to have a Lush spa treatment!)  This was the first event I've ever been to with a guest list!  The staff did a great job of making us all feel special and showing us around.  There were amazing drinks and cakes available and the whole store looked and smelt absolutely amazing.  Coming in from the cold Leeds night into this brightly lit store really did make me feel cosy and ready for Christmas.  Every surface was covered in colour and the beauty that is the new Christmas collection.  The Lush staff were super friendly and busily showing everyone the bath bombs, soaps, skin care and much more.  

Lush's christmas gift range this year is split into 3 different themes, and of course they are uniquly Lush.  The themes are, Story Telling (inspired by Hans Christian Andersen) City of Gold (inspired by the Beyond El Dorado exhibition at the British Museum, with a focus on the extravagant) and lastly, German Techno Nordic Pop (inspired by the West End production of Charlie and the Chocolate factory).  All the gift boxes are stunning to look at, the kind of boxes you would keep even when they're empty, and that's before you even look inside.  The back story and attention to detail with these boxes are miles ahead of anything else you would find on the high street.

So I'll share with you a couple of the products I'd love to find under my tree this year.  First of all the Butterbear is cute and so soft and nourishing, it reminds me of my favourite Floating Island bath melt that always leaves me feeling amazingly silky.  The Luxury Lush Pud has so many different colours hidden inside, it makes me feel like an excited child at bath time!  The Holly Golightly bath melt looks and smells like a traditional christmas treat, I can definitely see this being popular for a Christmas Eve soak.  The Baked Alaska soap bars look like pure fun and it smells really refreshing, and is good for your skin to boot, and as a huge fan of marzipan Snowcake soap is a returning favourite.  Snow Angel continues this marzipan theme with a beautiful golden glitter shimmer that just screams luxury!  The Do you Want to Build a Snowman kit is part of the FUN range and I am adding it to my shopping basket as we speak!  If you don't know about the FUN range imagine Playdoh, that you can wash yourself with, and of course this one is carrot scented!  Lastly onto shower gels and Hot Toddy might be one of my favourite ever scents, perfect for winter and the Snowman Jelly looks like your average shower jelly in the tub, but tip it out and your in for a surprise!

I will get a chance to test a few of these out as Lush were kind enough to give me the Santa Claus is Coming to Town gift box to try out, in my own Leeds Lush Spa tote bag!  I will be doing a post on this box in the next few weeks, so don't forget to check back!

What's your favourite product from Lush's Christmas collection?  
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22 October 2014

#Sheffieldbbloggers Meet


Last weekend I was lucky enough to attend the #Sheffieldbbloggers event, ran by Georgina of She Might Be Loved, Ashleigh of Beauty Waterfall and Heather of Porcelain Beauty.  The event was held at the Maveli Indian restaurant in the centre of Sheffield, which I found easily, which if you know me at all and my sense of direction is nothing short of a miracle!  I was actually one of the first to arrive and was warmly greeted my Georgina, who is one of those fantastic people you feel like you've known forever even though you've never met.  We were all given our goodie bags and encourage to route through and take a look at everything we were lucky enough to receive.  I have to say it was an amazing selection but you'll just have to wait until next week to find out more, as this is getting a post all to itself!  


By this point we'd all had a big chat with each other (every bloggers favourite thing) and Lush Sheffield had arrived, with lots of classic products and a few of there new Halloween and Christmas collection.  They were also giving hand massage to a few lucky bloggers and they looked amazingly relaxing!  I swung by the Lush shop to say hello after the event and picked up some new shampoo and conditioner.  I have to say I am now a fully fleshed Lush addict!


As part of the event there was a fantastic raffle with all proceeds going to the amazing charity, Look Good Feel Better.  I had never heard of the charity previous to this event but I had a good long chat with Jan who works for them about all the work they do and I was really amazed.  Look Good Feel Better is a cancer charity that work with women with all forms of cancer, to improve their self-esteem through the use of make up.  They use the money donated to put together make up kits designed for people going through such bodily stress and hold work shops teaching cancer suffers how to use it.  Jan's passion for the charity really shone through and I really got a sense of the difference they make.


Before I'd realised it the guys from Maveli had brought us out a taster menu to try, and it was all delicious!  I am a big fan of indian food and there was so much here i'd never tried.  It was all really yummy and very welcome, you can tell the foods good when you end up with a room full of quiet bloggers!



I manage to catch up with Charley of Rambling of a Beauty Blogger who I first met at the Lincs Blog Meet back in May.  We then got a chance to make our own bath bomb with the guys from Lush, lots of mixing and squashing into the mould later and I had my own Ickle Baby Bot bath bomb to take home!  


Soon it was time for the raffle draw, and everyone (including me) was so excited, and I'm not surprised, the organisers had really out done themselves when it comes to prizes!  There were so many impressive items including four Vivian Westwood rings!  I was lucky enough to win a BTX treatment from Fruition Sheffield, which is pretty much perfect for me if you know about my hair history!  I am slowly getting my hair in better condition so I can't wait to give this a go!


Kim was performing HD Brows treatments and some bloggers were lucky enough to get there's done, and they all looked fab afterwards!  I think it's about time I gave my brows some more love!


Lastly we were told there was a surprise coming.  I was absolutely clueless and when I found out what it was I have to say, it was pretty much the perfect way to end the day!  The guys from Costellos Cake had arrived with samples for us to try!  Costellos isn't your average cake business, they deliver the cakes right to your door!  Talk about a dream come true!  Not only that but they taste absolutely amazing!  And the prices are surprisingly cheap!  I'm gutted I l'ive too far from Sheffield to benefit from this, but if you do live in the area I urge you to give them a go, it's some of the best cake I've ever tried!

Before I knew it it was time to say our goodbyes and part ways.  It was an amazing day and I'd like to say a huge thank you to all the organises for pulling off such a fantastic event, especially with the limited time they had.  And of course a big thanks to all the companies who visited us and the brands who so kindly donated, and of course all the bloggers for being as friendly as ever!
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20 October 2014

The Heroes of Olympus: The Blood of Olympus Book Giveaway!


Though the Greek and Roman crewmembers of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen—all of them—and they're stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood—the blood of Olympus—in order to wake.

The demigods are having more frequent visions of a terrible battle at Camp Half-Blood. The Roman legion from Camp Jupiter, led by Octavian, is almost within striking distance. Though it is tempting to take the Athena Parthenos to Athens to use as a secret weapon, the friends know that the huge statue belongs back on Long Island, where it "might" be able to stop a war between the two camps.

The Athena Parthenos will go west; the Argo II will go east. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea's army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over.

I am giving away the fifth title in the popular The Gods of Olympus series, The Blood of Olympus.  To enter, simply follow the instruction bellow.  Unfortunately I can only post to the UK and entries from people who only mass enter competitions will be disqualified. 




a Rafflecopter giveaway
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17 October 2014

Books of 2014: Part 8


I am now finally up to date with my latest batch of 5 read books!  This post takes us through books 35-40, 10 more books then I aimed to read this year, so I'm pretty happy.  Don't forget if you want to keep up to date with what I'm reading you can follow me on goodreads.  Once more most of the books I've read this time have been lent from my sister.  That's why the top picture is looking a little sparse.  They've been sitting on my shelf for a long time so I am really happy I am finally getting through them!

Oscar Wilde and the Murders at Reading Gaol

It is 1897, Dieppe. Oscar Wilde, poet, playwright, novelist, raconteur and ex-convict, has fled the country after his release from Reading Gaol. Tonight he is sharing a drink and the story of his cruel imprisonment with a mysterious stranger. He has endured a harsh regime: the treadmill, solitary confinement, censored letters, no writing materials. Yet even in the midst of such deprivation, Oscar's astonishing detective powers remain undiminished - and when first a brutal warder and then the prison chaplain are found murdered, who else should the governor turn to for help other than Reading Gaol's most celebrated inmate?

The final book in this series and its every bit as good as the others.  In this we find a much more solum Oscar Wilde, in prison and dealing everything that comes with it.  However despite his depression we still see his mind is sharp as he manages to solve another murder.  This is a great murder mystery, that stays smart and give an insight into the victorian prison system.
****

The Last Day of a Condemned Man by Victor Hugo

A man vilified by society and condemned to death for his crime wakes every morning knowing that this day might be his last. Graphically detailed, this first-person chronicle describes both the prisoner’s wretched environment and his thoughts, reminiscences, and despair at his impending doom. 

There is defiantly a reason this book is considered a classic, and I can see the how it worked to change many a mind about the death penalty.  Told from the unique perspective of a man condemned to death you see the world through his eyes in his last few hours.  It puts a personality behind the condemned and is so well written, it creates an air of sympathy for the main character without laying it on too heavy.  The only thing that lets this book down is the unnecessary 'fluff'.  This book is very short and the main title even shorter, so it is filled with different essays and short stories that end up dragging the main title down, and this is why I can't give it higher then 4 stars.
****


The Three by Sarah Lotz

Black Thursday. The day that will never be forgotten. The day that four passenger planes crash, at almost exactly the same moment, at four different points around the globe.
There are only four survivors. Three are children, who emerge from the wreckage seemingly unhurt. But they are not unchanged.
And the fourth is Pamela May Donald, who lives just long enough to record a voice message on her phone.
A message that will change the world.
The message is a warning.


Read my full review here but in short, go read it!
****


Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn't believe in fashion... she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit – the more sparkly, more wild – the better. And life is pretty close to perfect for Lola, especially with her hot rocker boyfriend.
That is, until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket return to the neighbourhood and unearth a past of hurt that Lola thought was long buried. So when talented inventor Cricket steps out from his twin sister's shadow and back into Lola's life, she must finally face up to a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door. Could the boy from Lola's past be the love of her future?


This book follows new characters from the same world as Anna and the French Kiss.  Like Anna, this was a fun easy read but I'm still not getting what all the hype was about.  It's good for a speed read and it's nice and light, great for those times when you don't want anything too heavy.  I'll probably pick up the last title in the series just to finish it off but I won't be rushing out to get it.  I preferred this one to Anna because I liked lola's eccentricity more, and the characters in general, but it got a bit too cheesy for me towards the end.
***


Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck

In 1960, when he was almost 60 years old, John Steinbeck set out to rediscover his native land. He felt that he might have lost touch with its sights, sounds and the essence of its people. Accompanied only by a distinguished French poodle named Charley, he travelled all across the United States in a three-quarter-ton pick-up truck equipped with miniature ship's cabin and named Rocinante. His course took him through almost 40 states. He saw things that made him proud, angry, sympathetic and elated, all of which is related with remarkable honesty and insight. The book was was first published in 1962.

This was well written but I just couldn't really get into it.  I don't enjoy Steinbeck's non-fiction as much as his fiction, I also think that his portrayal of America just wasn't a big enough interest of mine to really get through this.  There were some passages I really enjoyed but they were far between.
***

What is the best book you've read this year?  I am looking for some recommendations! 
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15 October 2014

Shaking up my love of a lie in with the #EarlybirdChallenge*


















For anyone who knows me, you will know I am defiantly not a morning person.  I love my bed, and as soon as the weekend is near I am looking forward to turning my alarm off and having a good old chill out in bed.  So when I was asked by Free Office Finder to be part of their #EarlybirdChallange I knew this would be a good time to give myself a kick in the butt, fight my lazy urges and really seize the whole day.

I am lucky enough to be surrounded by beautiful countryside so this was the perfect chance to get up early and go for a walk, just as the sun was up.  It was a typical crisp autumnal day which started off very misty but slowly brightened up throughout my walk.  The good thing about having a dog is that you are forced to get out of the house, even on the days when its a little cooler outside.  If there was one person who was happy about me getting up early it was Willow, she was over the moon about going for a morning walk instead of her giving me puppy dog eyes until lunch!

The best thing about hitting the countryside so early was getting to see the mist lifting from the fields, you could actually see it and it was really beautiful.  At the end of all that I even had chance to get home in time for a cup of tea with the whole day ahead of me!  Thank you to Free Office Finder for motivating me to make the most of the mornings, what motivates you in the morning?

Kariss xx


*This post contains sponsored links
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13 October 2014

Vintage Inspired Winter Coat Wish List


Phew this title is a bit of a mouthful isn't it?  The colder weather is setting in fast and as you may have seen from my Collectif Wish list I am on the hunt for something to keep me warm as the nights draw in.  Winter coats are usually a big investment, my current Hell Bunny Mika Coat I've had for around 5 years now, possibly more, and although I'm reluctant to part with it, it has seen better days.  The bear ears on this coat might remind you of my last animal ear accessories post and I this was defiantly one of the reasons I've bought this coat, that and it's so warm it's like wearing a blanket!  I am not a fan of winter and the cold so anything that can keep my toasty is top priority, so here is what I have managed to narrow down.

I feel like I need to point out that I am in no way sponsored by Hell Bunny!  I know they come up on my blog a lot and most of these coats are from them simply because they always manage to catch my eye!  Starting with this Hell Bunny Millie Coat which comes in 4 beautiful colours, all of which I love!  The hardest part is picking which one!  Next the Hell Bunny Coleen Coat is the most vintage in style and looks timelessly classic in black.  The Hell Bunny Shonna coat has a luxurious looking black fur collar which really adds an element of glam to any winter coat, and makes it extra warm of course!

On to the second row and the only coat that isn't by Hell Bunny is this green coat by Banned Clothing.  The colour and collar of this coat really help it to look like a real vintage coat, and the colour is a real stand out.  The Hell Bunny Sofia coat looks almost little red ridding hood inspired, perfect for a traditional feel!  Last but not least this Hell Bunny Sarah Jane coat looks super cosy with its fur trim and big hood, essential for out wet winters.

It's a couple of weeks until pay day so I've got a little while to decide, I'd love to know what you think?  At the moment I am swaying towards the green Banned Clothing coat or the Hell Bunny Mika Coat in navy or grey.  If you know any other vintage inspired coats let me know!

Kariss xx
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8 October 2014

Kawaii Animal Ear Hair Accessories


This post has a strange name, but what else could I call it?  I have a major love of anything cute, or kawaii as the Japanese say, and for some reason I haven't shared this with you as much as I would like.  After my Crown and Glory wish list post last week I figured this is as good a time as any to share with you my current collection of cute animal ear headbands! These don't even include my Disney World ones, maybe that's one for another post!

Going left to right, lets start with these lace cat ears are from Topshop.  I don't remember how much they were but I know they seemed very expensive for what they are at the time.  I was working in Hull and kept staring at them longingly when I rushed past the shop on my lunch break, so in the end I decided to treat myself and picked them up as my 'fancy' pair.  Because everyone needs a posh pair of cat ears to wear on a big night out right?

These pink and white candy stripped bunny ears are a sort of cheat.  I picked them up from Poundland on a whim and they are actually supposed to look like a bow, but because they are made from wire I refashioned them to look like bunny ears!  Not my favourite pair but not bad for a pound!

Yet another Poundland find.  These are small mouse style ears decorated black bead, which I obviously only picked up because they look kind of like Mickey Mouse ears!

Once more, this is a Poundland find!  These diamond style kitty ears are really popular in Japan and have been really big this last year or so, and I've wanted some for a while.  So I was really happy when I picked up these cheap versions after scouring the net!  Who would have thought Poundland was such a good place for hair accessories!

These Hello Kitty ears are from Clare's Accessories and are defiantly my most worn pair.  When I lived in Lincoln I wore these on nights out almost every week, and wore them for just running into town.  A few times I even wore them to work!  I couldn't get away with that now, I guess they are my signature pair!

These pink mouse ears are from Asda Living, I bought them because at the time they matched my pink hair perfectly!  I still love them even with my red hair because they are just so cute!

These are so hard to photograph!  I bought these for my goth nights, they are clear kitty ears that react to UV light so perfect for my cyber goth gear.

Guess what?  These are yet another Poundland find!  These are flat minnie mouse ears that I haven't got round to wearing yet, but I'm a sucker for anything Disney.

These purple and black clip in cat ears I picked up at Resistanz festival this year, and are another perfect edition for my goth nights.  These are made of latex and happen to match almost exactly to a latex outfit I bought a couple of months ago. 

I used to wear these headbands all the time, almost everyday, but since moving back to my home town I've stopped.  I feel like I can wear them less here because people are more judgmental, but maybe this will give me the push to rock them again!

Which are your favourite pair?
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6 October 2014

Collectif Clothing Wishlist


Can you tell I'm skint?  Creating wish lists is a good way of venting my frustration of never having any money!  This time I'm looking at Collectif, they are always on my radar but I haven't yet managed to call a piece my own.  I've ordered a few things but I've never managed to get the sizing right!  Collectif currently have a rather big sale on there website, but thankfully for my bank account, and frustratingly for me, most of the things I like are out of stock in my size.  So here is what I am currently lusting over!

This beautiful Anastasia Coat and Shrug (RRP £182, current price £70) looks so retro glam and cosy for winter, you can even buy a matching muff!  It's the perfect thing for wondering around a Christmas market in.  It's such a shame it is no longer available in my size as I am currently looking for a winter coat and this ticks all the boxes!

These Grey Bonnie Check Print Cigarette Trousers (RRP £39.50, currently £20.00) are really sleek and would make a really smart and put together outfit, however I'm not sure they would suit my large dumpy thighs!  These Bonnie Twill Cigarette Trousers (£39.50) are similar but the dark colour might be a little more flattering for me.  Lastly in the world of trousers these Franky Swing Trousers (£45.00) look stylish and super comfortable!

This next dress I can no longer find on the website, even though I only saved the picture a couple of hours ago!  I don't know if I'm loosing my marbles or what but either way I really like the white contrast detail and the high neck on this, it would be great for work and has an almost Japanese feel to it.  This red Sindy Doll Sailor Dress (£65) is very similar to one I've had my eye on from Hell Bunny, it's nautical and really fun and I do love red for a pop of colour.  

On to accessories and these Judy Classic 50s sunglasses (£9) seem a strange choice, and not just because of the current weather, but because I have actually owned them before.  I bought them a while ago but I have a bump on my nose which makes it difficult for me to find sunglasses that sit in the right place, unfortunately these were one of the pairs that didn't work for me.  I still love them though and I am determined to find some cat eye glasses that suit me, they always sit too high! Then there is the beautiful Orchid and Cherry Flower hair clip (£8) which adds a touch of glam to an outfit and its perfect for that rockabilly look.

This Jemima Striped Doll Dress (RRP £53, current price £26.50) is great for if you want to look glam in the office, I am a fan of a peter pan collar!  Another dress that I bought and had to give back, this Phyllis Doll Dress (RRP £69.50, current price £17.50) I previously bought in red but it was too big, I now really love this navy version so maybe if I just get this sizing right.... I love the cute print of this Enchanting Bird Print Donna dress (£49.50) and even though I am currently looking out of my window to a very miserable day, this super cute Shelly Polka Dot Print Swim Set (£55) is too cute to pass up while I dream of the sunshine.

Are you a Collectif fan?
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1 October 2014

Chatsworth House


Last weekend my family and I headed up to Chatsworth House for a tour of the house and gardens.  It's not the cheapest stately home at £18 but it was defiantly worth it! 



 I was surprised at how popular it was, there must have been 100's of people throughout the grounds, most with dogs and children in tow as the grounds are huge with a farm and playground that we didn't get chance to get to and it's great for walking.  My dad even surprised us with afternoon tea!  If I'm honest, the afternoon tea wasn't the greatest I've had and the staff were a little rude and unhelpful, so I wouldn't rush to do that part again.  This Christmas Chatsworth House is having an Alice in Wonderland theme so I will defiantly be going back for a visit!

Where have you been this weekend?
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