Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Last minute stocking fillers...

If you are looking for last minute stocking filler ideas then you can't go wrong with the bargain shops! 

In Poundland I found these Festive Vanilla wax melts, which contain six breakable cubes for a wax burner. They smell lovely and after trying them can firmly give them the thumbs up! Also in Poundland I got this set of My Little Pony hair ties- perfect for kids (big or small!)

In Poundstretcher I found a nice selection of Rimmel cosmetics for just a £1 each. The Space Dust nail polishes will make perfect Christmas gifts. Finally I got some sparkly Elegant Touch press on nails from the Superdrug outlet on Ebay for £2.99. They are worth checking out as they have lots of discounted cosmetics and toiletries and posted very quickly. 

Of course you can't go wrong with chocolate when it comes to stocking fillers and I always get that at bargain shops too!  

Monday, 15 December 2014

Book review: The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey...

The Girl With All The Gifts is one of those mysterious books that doesn't really give anything away in the blurb, which simply reads:

"Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class.When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite. But they don't laugh.Melanie is a very special girl."
Having heard so much praise for this book, along with a quote from Joss Whedon on the cover, I was intrigued enough to pick it up.
Now here is where I'll put a *spoiler alert* so if you don't want to spoil the mystery stop reading!
The book was actually totally different to what I was expecting. It turns out it was a pretty dark post apocalyptic horror, set in a future Britain where most humans have either caught a fungal infection changing them to 'hungries' (essentially zombies) or have been eaten by them. 
The book follows it's five main characters Melanie (an intelligent form of hungry who is able to learn and speak), her teacher, a scientist who is obsessed with learning about the infection and finding a cure, and two soldiers. The fact that these characters are all interesting, fully explored and flawed gives the story a more human touch and certainly makes it more enjoyable. Personally I think that is the books saving grace, which sets it apart from the usual zombie survival stories.
Throughout the book there is an interesting point raised, as Miss Justineau the teacher becomes emotionally attached to the child hungries, Whilst Dr. Caldwell simply sees them as test subjects who she can experiment on to help understand the virus. We see both sides to the question Caldwell asks Justineau "Which will do the most good in the end? Your compassion or my commitment to my work?" The book definitely throws up some questions to think about, and overall I found this an enjoyable read.
(If you are a fan of films like Contagion, and 28 Days Later then read this!) 

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Degusta Box December...

I got a code for a half price December Degusta Box (a monthly food subscription box, usually £12.99) and thought I would give them a go. The big box arrived, all very well packaged. Here is what I got...

Kettle Chips
I do love Kettle Chips, although I've never tried this flavour but I will keep these to share at Christmas.

Cool Dawn Recovery
This is a herbal detox drink which is supposed to help prevent hangovers. I'm not much of a drinker these days so I will give this to someone else- although the thought of trying to drink something herbal whilst drunk just sounds like a bad idea to me!

Lindt Lindor My Melting Moment
I got a generous five of these in the box and I am trying to be strong and resist eating them all (Lindt is my favourite chocolate) because they will make lovely stocking fillers.

Kent's Kitchen Fajitas Flavour Shots
These are small tubs of sauce that you can mix with chicken, and I'm sure I will get round to using them at some point. 

Branston Caramelised Onion Chutney
Me and my sister have already planned a delicious cheese board for Christmas and this will go with it perfectly! 

Pip Organic Apple Juice
My favourite fruit juice is apple and I've already popped these in the fridge as I'm sure they'll be lovely.

Montano Italian Cider
I'm not a cider fan, but this will make a nice stocking filler for my Dad or Brother in law.

Holy Cow Curry Sauces
I got two of these, and gave them to my sister as to be frank I know I'll never get round to using them.

Chai Latte satchet
I dislike both tea and cinnamon so this ones not for me but I shall give it to someone who will appreciate it!  

Overall, although great value I was a little disappointed- for a December box I was hoping for a slightly more festive offering. I also think they should have a few different options for subscribers (for example: non alcohol drinkers, vegetarian etc...) but really I can't fault the value for money and if you aren't a fussy eater (unlike me) then it's definitely worth a try! 

Friday, 12 December 2014

Ebay picks...

Elegant Touch Glitter nails £2.99 here
Tony Moly Black Sugar Mask £5.78 here
Hello Kitty plush bag £12.46 here
Liquorice Allsorts bow headband £6.00 here
Etude House Natural Jelly Cleansing Puff £3.00 here
Sailor Moon pendant £2.66 here
Reservoir Dogs film poster £3.84 here

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Holika Holika PRO:BEAUTY Kissable lipstick...

I can never resist red lipsticks, and as far as I'm concerned the darker the better! Having tried a few things from the Holika Holika PRO:BEAUTY line (and being really impressed by them) I thought it was about time I tried a lipstick.

The lipstick is smartly packaged, and feels more expensive than it is. The shade I chose was RD801 Twilight Red which is a deep brownish red. The bullet is a little deceiving (although how amazing would a lipstick that colour be?!) and the promo pictures are way off- it shows it as dark purple colour for some reason. Beyond that though the lipstick applies easily (partly thanks to it's curved shape) and feels quite thick and creamy, but non drying.

Despite the (again) inaccurate promo pictures that show a heavily glossy finish, I find this to have an almost matte effect- which I actually do prefer. The staying power is really good with this lipstick too. Although I'd recommend a quick google search for a swatch first, I really do recommend checking these lovely lipsticks out. 

I got mine here for £6.08

Monday, 8 December 2014

Book review: Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty...

I picked up Apple Tree Yard on a whim to complete a book offer, having read the fairly vague but mysterious blurb on the back. I tend to be put off when I don't know much about the story, but decided to give it a go. I'm glad I did, as it turned out to be much more than a typical thriller. 

It was a little slow to start, setting the scene and introducing us to the protagonist Yvonne a middle aged, happily married scientist. The story  starts with her meeting a mysterious stranger and them starting a passionate affair. Then without wanting to give anything away the story spirals from there, which is where the plot gets interesting. It's definitely a book that packs a lot of twists, even until the very end,  and Doughty is very skilled at building an electrifying suspense that makes you want to keep reading.

Another thing I really enjoyed about the book was that the main character was very human, and sympathetic. I think the fact the author is female definitely made her more relateable (sometimes I find male writers really don't get female characters right...) and the plot never strayed away from being realistic. I raced through the second half of the book and after finishing the last page (that packed one final punch) felt very satisfied with the ending. If you are looking for a thriller that is clever, well written and full of twists I definitely recommend Apple Tree Yard.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

New things...feat Primark, Amazon & ASOS!

Amongst all the present buying I've been making the most of some of the pre Christmas/ Black Friday deals. My Nan & Grandad always give everyone money for Christmas and they are always very organised at giving it early! So here are some of the bits I've bought...

I made an order with ASOS and although I originally wanted just one thing ended up adding more stuff so I qualified for free postage! I bought the New Look donut purse as it was half price, and I'd had my eye on it since it was released. I also got two Models Own nail polishes for £3.50 each (Diamond Luxe in Princess Pink & Swan speckled polish.) I also couldn't resist adding these nail decals to my basket as they were half price and had donuts on!

Finally from ASOS I got this huge tote bag in the sale for £6. I got my sister one for Christmas too that has a skeleton design. It's really nice and thick, and will be really useful. 

I went in Primark in my usual quest to find something I'd seen on Instagram (my local Primark never has the good stuff) and couldn't find it. Instead I came out with a Breaking Bad and Batman top for £6 each. In Pound World I bought these cool Hulk socks, I can never resist novelty socks....

More stuff from Primark! A Batman jumper and Lisa Simpson pyjama top... I think I may be showing my mental age here :D

I got this kind of garish Christmas pyjama top for £2 which I'm pretty happy with, some Little Mermaid pants and a trapper hat. This was in the mens section and was labelled at £5, but came out at £3 and will be perfect for keeping my big head warm! 

From Amazon I made the most of the Black Friday prices and ordered these three books that were sitting in my (mega long) wishlist- it came to around £10 for all three with free postage, and I'm looking forward to working my way through them.

In Tesco they had all Nivea skincare half price so I bought a couple of face washes as I'm nearly out. And lastly I got a two Vaseline tins as I use these all the time and they were on offer. I decided to branch out and try the cocoa butter version like the rebel that I am ;)