Saturday, 17 August 2013

Birchbox UK August 2013

Being somewhat disillusioned with Glossybox this month I looked for alternatives and found that Birchbox took over another beauty box company earlier in the year - yes I know - what planet must I live on not to know this little nugget of information. It was a Birchbox on someone's blog from the US that set me off on my beauty box adventure so I was chuffed to bits to find out they are now over here. 

I ordered it over the weekend and it arrived on Thursday via the Yodel courier who thought, since nobody came to the door, it would be ok to put it in a 'safe location' ie throw it over our 6ft back gate straight into a fresh doggie doo. The outer box had come open but thankfully the inner box was fine. Needless to say I complained to Yodel who were a bit dismissive and just said the courier would be told. I also asked Birchbox if they could put a note on the address label in future that there is no safe location. They were fantastic and are taking it up with Yodel and are using Royal Mail for my delivery in future. 

Onto the box - they come in a box with a cute little drawstring bag holding all the products. 

and the contents in that cute little bag

Bluemandarines SkinLife Energetic Cellular Cream - a light peptide packed cream which brightens, refreshes and protects skin.  This smells really expensive and feels fabulous on the skin. Definitely something I would consider buying if I could afford it. Full size is £35. 

Philip Kingsley elasticizer - a hair saviour. This mask strengthens, nourishes and prevents breakages.  I've used this today and whilst it does the job I have to say that at £27.50 it is a tad expensive and I preferred the Tresemme treatment from the Glossybox. I do love trying hair products that aren't of the tousled beach variety so it's a good choice. 

Gerda Spillmann Hydro Pearls - ensure your base lasts and lasts with this smoothing primer. I'm looking forward to trying this. I have noticed my eye makeup disappears from one eye faster than the other so hopefully a good primer will keep them both the same for longer. Full size for this is £30

LAQA & Co Lip Pencil - a moisturising lip pencil perfect for day to night, in two hot summer colours. My first thought was oh another red lip product which just is not me but I did give this a go. It is quite intense but blotting it decreased the intensity quite a bit so I am quite happy. Full size is £14. I think this is probably half size. 

Molton Brown ylang ylang body wash - wow what can I say besides it smells amazing and is a body wash. Love their products. Full size is £18. 

Inner Me supplements - bonafide superfood, packed with health boosting omega 3 protein and more.  I'm not so sure about this. It is supposed to enhance skin, hair and nails which god knows I certainly need. I need to do a bit of research into this though before I stick a tablet in my mouth. 

Last of all Birchbox Gel Mask - this gel filled mask cools the eye area and decreases puffiness.  My daughter has one of these and swears by it for hayfever symptoms so its good to have as a standby for puffy eyes. Mine are terribly sensitive lately so this can only be a good product. 

All in all in very happy with this box. Can't wait to see what they have in store for September's box. 

Friday, 16 August 2013

Summer Scavenger Hunt

Over at Rinda's place there is the annual summer scavenger hunt going on.  We basically have until 21st September to photograph the following items:

1.   Open air market
2.   Theater for performing arts (not a movie theater)
3.   City Hall, Capitol or other similar civic building
4.   Airplane
5.   A sunset
6.   Someone or something taking a nap
7.   A sign that is intentionally or unintentionally funny
8.   A tower
9.   A photo with someone or something that is clearly out of place or doesn't belong
10.  A bench that is outside
11.  An animal in a zoo, aquarium, nature preserve, etc.
12.  A cloud in the shape of something (please specify what you see)
13.  A fence
14.  A stained glass object or a mosaic
15.  A fire truck or police car
16.  A windmill 
17.  Candle(s)
18.  Your local pub/bar, coffee house or tea shop
19.  A fisherman
20. A dinosaur
21.  A photograph of you with an artistic tool or craft supply (you cannot substitute for this item)
Bonus/substitute items.  If you find any of the above items too difficult, feel free to substitute either (or both) of these items.  You can substitute up to two items, but you cannot substitute Item #21:
A person wearing an outfit (or item of clothing) that symbolizes your country
A sundial

Lots of items to find and so far I have:

1. Open air market

2 and 3 theatre for performing arts and city hall - the building where my daughter graduated is Hull City Hall and they also have performances from musicians, theatre groups, comedians etc so I have got first of all the outside and then the inside.

5.  sunset - self explanatory

6. someone or something sleeping - my pooches

8. a tower - one of the power station cooling towers

9. a photo of something clearly out of place - an abandoned umbrella

11 an animal in a zoo - a spider monkey at Yorkshire Wildlife Park

12. a cloud in a shape - I think this one looks like a rodent on its hind legs 

15. a fire truck

17. a candle


Oopsie indeed. My youngest twisted his knee mid June playing football {as boys do}. Our GP verdict was ligament damage but only to limit his activity if it hurt him.

Skip forward two weeks and he's playing football again at school {as boys do}. Play stopped and he fell over the ball. Cue knee pain again, friends helping him back into school and his incredibly high pain threshold {it's an aspergers thing apparently} telling the staff he was fine and it was nothing bad.

He came out of school limping saying it hurt worse than the last time and hopped home so he didn't have to walk on it.  We had a dental appointment straight after school and he wouldn't put any pressure on it even to get in and out of the dentist chair so I figured it might be worth a trip to A&E to get this second injury looked at properly since intense pain isn't usually a thing he feels.  At this point I still thought it was something and nothing.

Erm yeah - 4 hours later and he was in a full leg pot and crutches.  I seriously was not expecting that.   The Xrays showed his kneecap to be in a different position to how it should be and they had potted it to be on the safe side until an orthopaedic consultant could see him.

I was told to make him a fracture clinic appointment before we left and was shocked and extremely annoyed that the next available one would be almost two weeks later.  I made it and as it was quite late at night by that point was told to ring the next day to see if they had any cancellations.  We ended up with one a week later in the end.  Still flipping annoying as the adult fracture clinic had next day appointments but the paediatric one had such a long wait.  It could be a week of this pot for nothing since it was just to be on the safe side.

As it turned out it was a good job they had used caution and potted him.  The consultant told us he had a distal sleeve fracture of the patella which basically means he had snapped his quadriceps tendon which attaches his kneecap to the top of his leg.  Thankfully it was hanging on and he stood a good chance of full recovery with immobilisation.  The full pot was replaced with a splint which was basically a full leg pot cut open so it could be removed for him to have a wash and the Velcro attaching it together.

To say it has been frustrating for him has been an understatement. Watching the other kids at school playing football and not being able to play rugby which he loves must be so hard. To say nothing of the fact that he worked so hard to have 100% attendance at school so he could go to the presentation evening and theme park they reward them with and then to fall at the final hurdle. He had a fair few tears over that one. Obviously just unfortunate circumstances so I've promised him a trip to the theme park once he is able to walk without aids.

A good friend offered him the loan of a wheelchair which has been absolutely invaluable in being able to get out and about these holidays.

Back to the hospital for his follow up and he was allowed a certain amount of movement in his knee so they fitted a knee brace, fixed at 30 degrees with a 2 week review but still no weight bearing. 

He is now at 60 degrees and able to walk on it. He is managing short walks without crutch support.

Hopefully next time we go to the hospital they will remove the brace. 

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Punky Scraps August Challenge

It seems like forever since I last got my scrap stuff out. I missed last month's DT challenge because I was meeting myself coming backwards and time just caught up so I was determined not to do the same this month or Nat would be cracking the whip. 

The August challenge is up and here is what I created

I was inspired by the shoes on the challenge photo to create a layout of my battered old converse - yeah no cutesy babies and puppies here!

Glossybox August 2013 - The Contents

Fresh from the delivery driver. 

Feeling a bit blah about this box. Quick run down - Eyelash Curler, Jelly Pong Pong 2in1 shadow/liner, makeup remover pen, Tresemme treatment and flipping Olay (why after so many last year????)

Reserving judgement (well not with the Olay because I tried it several times last year) until I've tried it. I'm not sure that I want to put the makeup remover thing anywhere near my eyes after seeing what that sort of thing does to nail polish but there is only one way to try it I suppose. 

I'll be back in a few days with my verdict. 

Edited to add - The Verdict:

Ok so lets start with the Olay issue. I received Olay three times at the back end of last year. This particular product - 3 point treatment I received two months in a row and now I've received it again so I'm not too pleased as the whole concept of beauty boxes as far as I'm concerned is trying different products. I took it up with Glossybox and, although they seem to think after 8 months people want to try it again, they did say they would send something else. I feel like I'm moaning for moanings sake and I have nothing against Olay. I just don't think it very fair to have it so many times when other people have different items. 

Anyway rant over on that one and I'll update with what they send as a replacement once it arrives. 

Next up - eyelash curlers by Emite Make Up. I've tried eyelash curlers before and because my lashes are really long I didn't like the effect so these are still in their packaging. 

Make up remover pen by Oceane - I am a bit hesitant with this product. My eyes are quite sensitive and I don't like the idea of sticking a pen I've used before onto them without causing infection. Probably a touch over cautious on my part I guess as eyeliners are used over and over. I'll probably stick to a cotton bud dipped in eye makeup remover used once. 

Jelly Pong Pong 2 in 1 shadow/liner. I got what I can only describe as a forest green shade.  Jury is out on this. It's a bit draggy on the lids to use as a liner and for the same reason as a shadow. I'm going to try it wet and see how that goes. 

Lastly and my absolute favourite out of the box is the cheapest. Tresemme Platinum Strength Instant Rescue Shot. A little one dose conditioning treatment that was an absolute pleasure to use. Usually when I've washed my hair it goes fluffy regardless of what shampoo/conditioner I've used but with this it dried flat with no fluff or frizz in sight. Definitely something I'll buy again. 

To sum up it was a disappointing box for me. I know others loved theirs from looking at the reviews. Just not for me this month I'm afraid. 

I've invested in the August Birchbox so will review that soon.