Friday, 18 October 2013

Birchbox UK October 2013 Review

My October Birchbox arrived yesterday and this is what it contained (excuse the crappy phone pics)

and the individual products:
Beauty Extra - Egyptian Magic
What - A cult multi-purpose healing skin cream made with just six all natural ingredients.
How - Take a small amount and rub it in your hands until it turns to oil, the apply to skin or ends of hair.

I'm intrigued by this product.  I have very dry hands during the winter and I'm going to save it to use as a hand cream.

Dr Lipp. Nipple Balm For Lips - Versatile lip balm that started life as a nipple balm! Hydrates and repairs dry flaky skin, sealing in moisture

This was actually damaged and has leaked so there isn't a huge amount left in the tube but bearing in mind that only a very small amount is needed I'm happy to just use what is left.  It is very rich and certainly does what it says.
theBalm Cosmetics Stainiac - This easily blended two in one lip and cheek stain gives a natural, understated blush.

Second lip and cheek stain in a week (MeMeMe in Glossybox earlier in the week).  This one is far superior to the MeMeMe one.  For starters it has a wand rather than a brush and goes on a lot easier.  The colour is slightly different but this one gives more coverage.
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser - A sheet, lightweight formula to add a healthy glow and moisturise with antioxidant vitamin complex and SPF20.

The shade of this is sand and in the tube looked quite dark for my skin tone but it was a very good match when I applied it.  Definitely like this.
Akane Mask Cocoon Nocturne - a fresh apple scented gel mask to help beat signs of tiredness and hydrate thirsty skin.

I'm not a fan of apple scents but this is subtle enough not to be overpowering whilst in bed.  I've not used it yet so I'm looking forward to doing that tonight.

KMS California Silk Sheen Styling Crème - A lightweight formula that provides heat protection and control even for those prone to frizz.

That would be good for my frizzy prone mop then.  I'm washing my hair later so I'm looking forward to trying it.
Lifestyle Extra The Chia Co Shots - Bonafide superfood, packed with health boosting omega 3, protein and more.

I'm looking forward to this. I've heard so much about the health benefits and can definitely see myself buying more.

All in all I like this box and in comparison to the god awful Glossybox I got earlier in the week this is fantastic.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Must Be Comfy

They've been asleep on my youngest's dressing gown since he took it off this morning. He didn't have the heart to take them off it once he'd got dressed. Only been up for food and straight back to it so I'm guessing it is rather comfy. 


This past weekend it was a year since I signed for the allotment.

The weather hasn't been nice enough to do much the last few days but we did have a walk up yesterday and reflected a little on what we need to do (which is a lot)

Our plan was just to grow on the bit that we had cleared last year and we achieved that - not hugely successfully but we did get things growing. 

My plan of covering some of the plot with cardboard to smother the weeds paid off and I will be putting some more down over the top and cover some more sections over the coming weeks.

The one thing that has really annoyed me is how little, if anything, the council do on this site.  You can see on the above picture the state of the path that runs alongside my plot fence.  There are two overgrown empty plots to the side of the path and then a farmers field.  The field has now been sold off and houses are being built on it.  The farmer hasn't planted anything for the last two years  because he was in the process of selling it so the weed seeds have taken over.  Even to clear the pathway wouldn't make much difference to the spread of those weeds.   I planted a lot of hedgerow plants on my side of the chicken wire fence we erected during the winter. They have really struggled to become established with the weeds.  I have a battery strimmer which has kept the plot under control to a degree but when you are faced with such an overgrown jungle at the side it is disheartening.   My plan for the coming year is to try and either buy or hire a petrol strimmer or brushcutter and get the immediate area next to the fence under control.  It will die off soon anyway so next spring I will be prepared (hopefully) with the big guns to try and stop the spread onto my plot.

I did a bit of a photo collage of before and after looking up and down the plot.  It doesn't look like much from the photos but we have put up the fence, cleared one side and planted, planted some fruit trees/bushes, had a decent strawberry harvest and probably lots I've forgotten about.

One thing I'm happy with are the rosa rugosa bare rooted plants I bought in the winter.  They have produced a lot of red rosehips.  I've harvested a few and will sow them in the coming weeks and have left the rest for the birds.  Hopefully some will self seed.  I may try some on the other fence where the bad weeds are because these have flourished even with an invasion of nettles.

The one thing I set out to do when I got the allotment was having homegrown sprouts on Christmas day.  I don't have a photo but they are on their way to being ready and that makes me happy.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Misty and Pippa Or Are They?

Three weeks ago we got two kittens.  We chose the name Misty for one of them almost immediately but it took some time to come up with Pippa for the second one.

I'd forgotten how mischievous kittens can be.  They are so funny to watch while they are playing and cute as can be when they come and sit on your knee.

When I walked into the living room and saw this I couldn't not take a photo.  How cute is that?

Last week I took our little ladies to the vet for their first visit which was a full health check, immunisations, worm tablets, flea drops and microchips. 

The vet threw quite the curveball at me when she examined them and Misty and Pippa are actually little gentlemen and not ladies.  Surprise didn't quite cut it.  We were told they were girls from the lady we got them from and we had kind of looked but apparently the testicles are quite hard to see at this age.  I'm not bothered in the slightest.  They're still kittens, they still play and they are still as cute as can be. They will be neutered as soon as they are old enough. We've had male cats before and, as well as the obvious responsible owner reason, they will be getting done asap because of the spray factor. If you've had a little boy cat before you will know exactly what I mean.

The little curveball threw us a new challenge - appropriate names.  Our 9 year old wanted to choose and since he took so long to choose Pippa we thought it only right that he chose again.  We went through a few combinations and Pippa was Piper for a couple of days.  Misty became Mr Nicholas for those couple of days too but eventually he decided on Pippa becoming Olly (after a certain Mr Murs) and Misty becoming Toby (that one came from a list of Thomas trains).

So here we have Olly and Toby 10 week old balls of mischief.


Monday, 14 October 2013

Glossybox UK October 2013 | Dark Romance

Don't let the theme title fool you should have been the strapline for Glossybox this month!

The cover of the magazine, which has been widely shown on social media in the run up to the receipt of this box, held promise of maybe a nice deep red nail polish or lipstick or maybe smoky eyes. When I opened the box this is what I found:

The products themselves are average but not exactly fitting the theme of Dark Romance. 

The two closest fits are what I'll cover first:

MeMeMe Cherub's Blush - Cheek & Lip Tint - Full size 12ml product worth £5.50Go from day to night with MeMeMe's sultry rouge tint!  Long lasting and multi functional, it also comes with a handy application brush, making it a perfect addition to your handbag for glamorous touch ups on the go.

I'm not a fan of MeMeMe but I wanted to give this the benefit of the doubt since it did fit the theme.  I'm sorry but I really don't like it.  The brush has some sort of coating on it that came off on my lips making it an altogether unpleasant experience.  The product itself didn't make a difference to my lips.  I tried it on my cheeks and whilst the coating was still coming off the brush it did seem to give a small amount of blush.  Most of it came off on my fingers when I patted it into the skin and stained them so the colour stain is obviously there.  I wouldn't buy it even at £5.50 but I will probably use it as a blush despite not really liking it.


Katy Perry Killer Queen perfume sample - £29.50 for 50ml. This sample is 1.5ml.

Again it kind of fits the theme.  I like perfume samples even though a lot of people don't. Mainly because I'm too shy to ask for one in Boots.  This is nice, maybe a touch overpowering for day to day use but nice all the same and I probably would buy it.

Now we get on to the other stuff:

Premae Multi Vit Smoothie Serum - Full size is £22.50 for 50ml this is 20ml.

Premae is the world's first allergen free brand, meaning that anything they produce is more than kind to skin. 

It is very highly scented, which I'm assuming is the 100% lemongrass oil.  Whilst I like the idea behind the brand the scent is really rather offputting.  I will use it but it won't be a repeat purchase.


Monu Illuminating Primer - Full size is £24.95 for 50ml this is 20ml.

This primer is paraben free and has been formulated with light reflective Mica particles and soft focus technology to brighten the complexion, add instant sheen and enhance your natural radiance.

Again this doesn't smell too nice (nothing I can put my finger on but not too pleasant) but I like the promise of the illumination.  I don't think I could justify spending the best part of £25 on buying it again though.

and the final product - Vita Liberata Latte Illuminating Skin Finish - Full size £29.95 for 30ml this is 2 sachets with a generous 3ml each in them.

This multi product offers perfect coverage and a flawless medium bronzing to the skin with added Broad Spectrum SPF25 whilst also creating an iridescent optical illusion as it's subtle shimmering particles capture the light.

I've tried this and even using a small amount produces quite an orange effect.  I certainly won't be buying it.

Overall, without the Dark Romance theme, I wouldn't have been glowing with happiness at this box.  It is pretty average/below average for Glossybox.  The theme promised something a little more than this and it is hugely disappointing.

I actually cancelled Glossybox last month but something happened and the cancellation didn't go through properly. Never thought to check it properly so I was surprised when the payment went through. I decided to give it one more shot but now that cancellation has definitely shown up on my account after this box.  My time with Glossybox is well and truly over.  I'm looking forward to the October Birchbox arriving very soon.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Busy Bee Candles Fragrance Club October 2013

I've had a couple of candle clubs from a lady I know via Facebook but she's stopped doing them so I researched an equivalent and found Busy Bee Candles. The reviews of their previous months I read online were good and people seemed to get a variety of fragrances in their box. 

My first month has just arrived and this is what I got

A room and linen spray in Violet Garden fragrance - smells lovely and will definitely get some use. 

Two wax tarts - Spell Bound and Sugared Figs. Again will definitely use and they smell scrummy. 

A mini candle jar in Secret Agent fragrance. Jury is out on this one. First impression was of Flash Lemon spray which is probably way off the mark of what it actually smells like. I'll use it though. 

Lastly is a bath foam in Bite Me fragrance. It's a bit lemony and maybe a bit sugary. Again probably way off the mark. 

I will admit that I'm slightly disappointed with this box. All the reviews I read were candle based so I wasn't expecting to get bath foam and room fragrance. It is called a fragrance club though so I can see where they fit in. If I'm honest though I signed up to a candle company and if the bulk value of the box is going to be non candle products then I'm not going to be subscribing for long. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt though and see what next month brings.