Lifestyle

Lifestyle | When Primark Met Harry Potter

Monday, January 22, 2018

Harry Potter is everywhere now, last year was the 20th anniversary of the first book and Primark have stepped in to meet a lot of peoples needs/desire to be in the world of Harry and co.
I hadn’t read the books for years and before Christmas, I treated myself to the box set of books and DVDs. I know the films are on TV a lot but I wanted to own them so I could watch them whenever I wanted.

 Primark Harry Potter Merch
While I have no need for any Harry Potter Merchandise I couldn’t help but pick up a few items. I might need some of these later in the year but mainly I have just been sucked in and every time I pop in I pick something up.

 Primark Harry Potter Merch

I’ve also got a couple of PJ tops and packs of socks which I haven’t included mainly because I forgot about them when I was planning this post. The tops are nice and soft and only cost about £4 each.
One of the first things I picked up was a time turner necklace, this is very cute and doesn’t look overly Harry Potter unless you know the books/films you could wear it anytime. I also picked up a pair of the classic glasses and festival bands.

 Primark Harry Potter Merch

I have a weakness for pin badges, but I often find they are quite expensive, I came across this pack of 6 badges for £3 in Primark in Manchester.

 Primark Harry Potter Merch
Bags for life are always useful and again £3 well spent. The only item I regret buying (other than the glasses, I wear glasses so what use am I going to get out of these!) is the wand. It’s my most recent purchase and for £1.50 I don’t feel like I need to return it, but I have no use for it and it’s quite heavy. I might start writing spells and use it for that. It seems quite apt.


 Primark Harry Potter Merch

I love my little stash of Harry Potter Merch and I expect I will pick more up on future visits to Primark. I can’t help myself, but I really should stop. As I’ve said some of these might come in handy later in this year but watch this space. 

 Primark Harry Potter Merch

Lifestyle

BOOKS | Harry Potter Books Boxset

Thursday, January 18, 2018

This year my Christmas shopping has been all about me. I haven't had many people to buy for. 3 family members, secret Santa and I did get my friends little boy a couple of little bits but every time I've gone to buy presents I've bought myself something. They haven't been little things either!

The first present I bought myself was the Harry Potter Books Boxset. Are books in boxsets? It has a half box round it so I'm going to say a confident yes.

I haven't read all the books in a very long time, I did have all the books but over time they had been sent to the charity shops. I regret this but as I'd spotted some funky looking special editions for the 20th anniversary in a bookshop. I decided it was time to buy them again. From what I can see the special editions are just of the first book and it was working out cheaper to buy the set from Amazon.
  
I have spotted the books in Tesco on 2 for £7 which would be cheaper £28 plus an extra book as there are 7 books (8 films) but as bad as this sounds I didn't like the covers.

The covers I've got are the adult editions (That makes them sound a bit 50 shades - the content is the same, but covers are more grown up) (Feeling prudish right now)

I've had the books around a fortnight now and I'm halfway through the set. I'm as in love with the series now as I was back when I first read it about 15 years ago.

I find myself picking little holes but and going "really" a lot, probably more than I did back then when the magic (Boom Tish) was all new to me and I've rewatched the first film and picked more holes. Mainly about some of the change they made. Small but annoying but that's a whole (Boom Tish) other post.

Harry Potter Boxset
Harry Potter Boxset

The world of Harry Potter is magical and whether you've never read it or haven't read it for a while I urge you to read the books. The films are good, but the books are just so much more. I laugh with them as well as at them, my heart breaks for them. I go "really" (A long thin package. Broom length and width - whatever could it be?) I worry how they will be able to pass the O.W.Ls and N.E.W.Ts when they don't seem to take English and Maths. They do a lot of essays and surely a primary school understanding of grammar is not enough. My primary school didn't really teach that. I'm over thinking it? What would OFSTED Say?! I mean are they even rated? Yes, I am over thinking it but even Witches and Wizards need more than just a potions O.W.L to get by in life.


Harry Potter Boxset
Harry Potter Boxset

Beauty

Beauty | Snow Ella Sale Bagains

Monday, January 15, 2018

Love her or loathe her you can’t fail to avoid the Zoella brand, personally, I like watching her vlogs and can’t help but think it’s impressive how she has gone from a blogger/vlogger to a brand.
I have used several her bath and body products in the past and while I don’t feel the need to rush out and keep buying them, I do like a few enough to buy again and I like them enough to try new things when they come out.

beauty-zoella-christmas-products

Personally, I’m happy to wait for sales and special offers. I won’t be queuing up for launch day of products or pre-ordering online, but I do get intrigued and want to try the products.
I called into Superdrug between Christmas and New Year to pick up a eyeliner and they had quite a few of the Zoella Beauty products in the half-price sale.
The two products I picked up were the “Treasure Me” Gift box and the “Snow Ella Fragrance set”
These products have a fresh, sweet and clean scent. I do think it’s a little on the young side but I do like it.

Treasure Me

beauty-zoella-christmas-products


This Gift box contains 8 products and all but one of these appears to be full-sized or at least a very good size.

Splash of Milk

beauty-zoella-christmas-products

This is bath milk powder, I’ve never tried anything like this below but I’m assuming it’s going to be a little bit like bath salts. I’m interested to try these and planning on putting them to this test this coming week.

Snow Scoop

beauty-zoella-christmas-products

I’m not sure what it is about bath cream in a tub rather than a bottle, but it feels a little bit more luxurious than a plain old bottle. I adore taking baths and with my back being bad at the moment I’m taking at least one a day. I’m excited to use up what’s in the bathroom at the moment and get using this

Snow Silky

beauty-zoella-christmas-products

This is one product I possibly won’t use. I’m terrible at using body cream. I do try and use it and I go through phases but If I look in my product stash drawer it’s full of body creams. I will either give this to a friend at work or see if my mum wants it.

Winter Wonder Hand

beauty-zoella-christmas-products

From all the Zoella Beauty products I’ve tried the hand cream is one of the ones, I would happily buy over and over again. I’ve recently finished a tube of the original hand cream and I’ve been working my way through my other hand creams before I let myself buy another one so I’m very happy to have this one.

Snow Smooth

beauty-zoella-christmas-products
Alongside the Snow Silky, I will most probably not use. Another one to pass on to friends and family. Although I really should moisturise, and this doesn’t seem to be a huge pot. I may keep this to take on holiday and see if I use it there before passing on.

Snow Fresh

beauty-zoella-christmas-products
This is a body wash which I know I will use, I’ve liked and enjoyed using other Zoella Body Washes and I hope this will be no different. This will be going straight in the bathroom to be used once my snow fairy has been used up.

Snow Polished

beauty-zoella-christmas-products

One of the few products I’ve repurchased from a Zoella Beauty line is the body polish, I think it was the first one she brought out was my almost perfect scrub, I have high hopes for this and I’m looking forward to using it.

Shower Scrunchie

beauty-zoella-christmas-products

I love the colours of this, which is an odd thing to say as it’s just a shower scrunchie, but it reminds me of raspberry ripple ice cream. It’s a small, compared to the soap and glory scrunchies but I’m more than happy with this and will keep hold of it to take on holiday.

 Snow Ella Fragrance set

beauty-zoella-christmas-products

Snow Silky

As much as I don’t use body lotion, it was worth getting this set for the fragrance alone. I can’t remember exactly how much I paid for the set, but I know friends who I can pass this on to.

Snow Ella Fragrance

beauty-zoella-christmas-products
I love the scent of this and it will be perfect for an everyday work fragrance, I do own a few perfumes but I’m still in the mindset of saving things for best. I also get bored or scents quickly so I’m happy to have a few so I can swap and change.


beauty-zoella-christmas-products

Lifestyle

Book Review | Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Recently my kindle took a bath in a full bottle of water that leaked in my work bag and was out of action. I thought it was dead and gone but after a few weeks (I had it in a bag of rice for a few days, then I just left it in a drawer for a few weeks) I bravely plugged it in. It had been stuck on the home screen ever since it's bath. It came to life and doesn't seem too badly distressed by its ordeal.


I wanted to start using it again as I was going away and it is much handier than carrying paperbacks. I scoured NetGally, KindofBooks and the Kindle store for recommendations of cheap and free books to read. I really didn't want to buy a lot of books in case it decided to give up but touch wood it seems to be ok. 
Love & Gelato Kindle Book Review
Love & Gelato
One of the books I came across from KindofBooks was Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch which I think was a free book at the time and is currently showing £1 for Kindle. 

It's aimed at teens but as I still only feel about 17 I thought I'd give it a try. It's centred around Lina American a teen who is still in the mids of grief after losing her mother. Her mother's last wish was for Lina to spend a Summer in Italy as she had done at the same age. 

As resistant as Lina is to this idea her Gran persuades her to go and Live with her father who has never been in the picture and who she has never met and lives in a cemetery and American War Memorial. 

Lina is resistant to move, as I think anyone would be. You've lost the only parent you've ever known and now you're being shipped halfway around the world to live with another who has never been mentioned until now.   

Everything from the beauty of the place she has moved to, how nice her father and his colleague are and how he's made an effort to create a bedroom that makes her feel comfortable is all too much for Lina and she IMO acts like a brat. This feels quite true, you would be so angry and frustrated you (well I) wouldn't want to like anything, I'd be resentful of people trying to do nice things for me when all I wanted to do was stay in the place I know, with friends I like and have my mother back. 

There are a few times where her father's colleague try and talk to Lina but her attempts are ignored or avoided. When one day Lina finds one of her mothers Journal on her bed from the summer she spent in the area, Lina uses it to try and get an understanding of why her mother wanted her to go to Italy and with the help of a boy she meets she follows along with her mother's journal. Visiting places, contacting old friends and seeing the city. 

The book is quite predictable but has some very sweet moments. These may be somewhat cheesy but I feel like they really made the story come to life for me. 

Predictability is something I've come to expect and it's not often a book leaves me with a wow I did not expect that. 

It's well worth £1 and was a nice quick read. One thing I will say is that I had strange dreams after reading this book. I was trying to do one of the things Lina does at the end of the book and I still feel a little odd when I think back to it! 

Fun, lighthearted and quick to read - If you like YA love stories with a high ratio of cheese I'd highly recommend it.

Lifestyle

LIFESTYLE | Blog & YouTube Planner 2018

Monday, January 08, 2018

For the past few years, I've been trying to find the perfect planner. I've recently been using a Kikki K planner and I like it but it's still not exactly what I want. Especially when it comes to blog and youtube planning. 

I want something with a monthly view between each of the months. Rather than at the very front of the diary, space to plan and individual pages per day or week or there is plenty of other spaces in the planner. 

Blog & YouTube Planner 2018 from TK Maxx

TK Maxx is a mecca of all things paper for me, they tend to have a lot of American brands which are much further advanced in all things planner than us in the UK.

I found this leaf print planner for under £10 and when I flicked through it I thought it could be what I wanted from a planner.

Blog & YouTube Planner 2018 from TK Maxx

There are two main sections. The Diary and the Notes. The notes section is pretty generous and has a mix of paper types. It isn't just plain paper, there is a mix of dotted, squared, lists and boxes. The pictures below might make is a little bit clearer.

Blog & YouTube Planner 2018 from TK Maxx

I love the Bullet Journal style banners and flags throughout this diary. It also has some items you'd traditionally find in a diary such as the Year planner, there is also a 2019 year planner at the back of the diary section. I don't always use these sections but I do like the idea of them.

Blog & YouTube Planner 2018 from TK Maxx

When I opened the January pages, I was quite excited as this is the sort of layout I've been looking for. I've already started using it before I took some pictures as I was eager to get started.

Blog & YouTube Planner 2018 from TK Maxx

I also like the week to view and a blank page. Each week has a different type of paper on the "blank page" For January I've tried to use them all to plan out my month but I'm sure this will change each month.

I'm using the square paper for Blog and Vlog planning. The pens I use are erasable so I can make changes as I go along without it getting too messy or needing to use correction fluid.

Blog & YouTube Planner 2018 from TK Maxx

The boxes page has been a nice way of me displaying my yearly goals, I'm not sure this page will always be used like this or even used at all but it's a cute page and has come in handy for January.

Blog & YouTube Planner 2018 from TK Maxx

This paper is quite a decent weight, the colours do show through as a shadow but they haven't bled through which is always a bonus.

I'm going to use the dotted page as a bit of a checklist but as I've never used this system before I'm not sure I like it now I've started it. All I can do is try and it won't be the end of the world if this is he only month I try it.

Blog & YouTube Planner 2018 from TK Maxx

Because there is a clear cut off at the end of each month where there is space they have included boxes to fill the space, I'm also not keen on the giant squared paper but it's not the end of the world. 

Blog & YouTube Planner 2018 from TK Maxx

Most months follow the above format but February, June and October have the list format rather than the calendar design. I would prefer the calendar boxes but again I can cope with it and I will use it.

Blog & YouTube Planner 2018 from TK Maxx

I've only flicked through it and I did notice this top 50 list page which is cute, I might use this as my Tom Cruise List but I might need more than 50 spaces. (do you all know what my Tom Cruise List is?)

Blog & YouTube Planner 2018 from TK Maxx

I'm only a few days in using this but I'm really happy with it. I like the look and layout of it and there is so much note paper I can use that to plan posts.

Most Diaries I've had have things like dialling codes, conversions etc at the beginning. This has them at the back of the Diary section. I can't say I've ever used them but I like that they have them at the back rather than having to wade through 5 or 6 pages to get into the diary itself.

This diary also includes pages to note down websites and address pages as well as some lined paper before the notes section.

As mentioned above the notes section is a heaty section and is a mix of the square, dotted, giant squares and cute boxes.

Lifestyle

LIFESTYLE | 2018 Goals, Aims and Hopes

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Wow! Hello, 2018! How is it treating you all so far? Me not so well. I have Sciatic and a dead right leg! 4 hours in the walk-in centre on New Year's Day but I'm trying not to let it stop me do anything (That might be the Codeine talking)

Last year I made a set of goals for myself rather than resolutions. I split it into a few main areas. Blog, YouTube, Social Media and Life.

Blog & YouTube

For both my blog and youtube channel, I have no real goals other than to do what I enjoy. I want to try and get a bit of a schedule up and running and try and talk about certain things each month, but I know from past experience that doesn't always work for me.

I want to try and weekend vlog more often as Vlogs are my favourite things to watch and I want to try and put up two videos and two blog posts a week but I won't be mad or upset if I do more or less. Life gets in the way a lot of the time.

Last year my goal was all about replying and interacting and hopefully I have that down. I don't have all that many comments and hopefully, I'm up to date with them (scuttles off to check)  (forgets she was checking and watches only connect)

Social Media Targets

Last year I set myself some social media goals and while I only met two of them (Pinterest - which I did really quickly then changed my target & facebook).

This worked well for me, I did try and break it down further to try and see how many I needed each month but this year (at this moment in time) I'm being a bit more relaxed and going with the flow. It would be amazing to get anywhere near these targets. Numbers aren't everything but who doesn't love a good round number. 

Twitter 5000
Facebook 1000
Instagram 3000
YouTube 500
Pinterest 2000
Bloglovin 1000
Google+ 500
Instagram SW 2000

2018 plans, hopes and aims

Life

My life doesn't feel like it's changed one jot since this time last year, my back is worse but everything else has been static. I feel like I always say this and my life hasn't really changed in about 15 years. 

Last year I wanted to see my friends more. I sort of achieved this and it's on the list again for this year. Get a new job was also on it, I didn't get one, I applied for one job but didn't even get to the interview stage. My own job will be changing in the next few weeks to be slightly different so I'm going with an open mind but I think getting a new job will stay on the list. 

Go back to the gym, this happened sporadically, I went more in 2017 than I did in 2016 so that's a win. I want to go back as I do enjoy it but it's getting me through the door that's the problem.

Read more and start a second blog were also on the list. I did read a lot but I didn't track what I read apart from my book tube videos and I did start a 2nd blog but I didn't post much so fails all around. 

Goals for 2018 include taking a packed lunch to work, wearing makeup more, aim to lose 2lbs a week at Slimming World, book holidays with friends, read more, go to the cinema and make use of my Netflix / Amazon Prime Video accounts. Nothing life changing but they will all help me to be more mindful and that is also on the list! 



Lifestyle

LIFESTYLE | 2017 IN REVIEW

Monday, January 01, 2018

As 2017 comes to a close I thought I would look back over the last 12 months and look at the highlights and do a little bit of reminiscing.

January

I started the year by setting my stall out with "2017 Goals - Not Resolutions" post, I think this worked well for me and while I didn't achieve half the goals I set they were more realistic and I felt like I could work towards them. I think I gave myself too many things to focus on and in 2018 I will do similar but I think I need to be more concise. 



January is also the time I tend to start panning challenges and 2017 was no exception "Use 7 by Spring - A 2017 Panning Challenge" Rather than doing a one-year long project I did 3 quarterly projects but as always I seemed to tire out and give up towards the end. 2018 might be a pan free year.


As the year began I was still doing The Collab Girlies videos on YouTube and in January we looked at our winter skin care. "The Collab Girlies - Winter Skin Care"  loved doing this collab but as the year marched on life kept getting in the way and we stopped doing the videos. I'd love to get another collab group going again. 


February

This was a busy month blog wise and I posted 10 posts, the 2nd most busy month! It was quite a varied month looking at a "MUA Re-Haul"

As well as sharing details of a beauty subscription box Love Me Beauty - Subscription January 2017
 I also talked about my favourite style of bag My Favourite Style of Bag | Have Best - Backpack f...
Backpacks still rock my world. 

We also had a look through my makeup bag, I'm thinking about doing this once a quarter or more frequently as one of my 2018 goals is to try and wear makeup more. I have hardly worn it the second half of this year. What's in my Makeup Bag | February 2017

It's funny looking back at that post as I still use very similar products but I can see how much I've used and some items I've actually finished. I have been saving my makeup empties for 2017 and I may do a post or a video on that soon. 

March

Only 4 posts in March including "Food| Inside Innside Bloggers Lunch" which is a Hotel on First Street in Manchester city centre. It was a nice change and they had some lovely food. 

It was also the month I discovered "Beauty | Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb Tissue M..." these masks are really lovely and I have a nice stock of them. They are good to use in winter and I wish I'd used one tonight.


I also bought new "BEAUTY | EOS Coconut Milk Lip Balm" I love these but they are quite expensive for what they are. Luckily I spotted this one in TK Maxx for half price.

April

This was also another quite bloggy month I talked about my "BEAUTY| Love Me Beauty - February 2017" I really liked this subscription, I liked that you can pick your items but I have now cancelled it. I have so many products I needed a break and I haven't subscribed to anything new. 

April also saw my first book review. BOOKS | REVIEW - Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculia...
my friend Hales send it to me and I really enjoyed it. I was a little apprehensive as it's not something I'd normally read but I want to read the others in the series.

The month ended with a product review for "Let's Raise a Glass - Premier Estates Wines" I was very impressed and ordered a case of their fizz and I'm now kicking myself for not ordering some for NYE.




May

Just looking back over May and it was a lovely month, it might be because it is y birthday month but I feel like I got lots of lovely posts up. In April I went to the 2#VikingArtyParty - Craft Afternoon in Manchester" I was worried about going to this as it was a couple of days after my gran passed away but there was nothing I could do and it provided a very welcome distraction and was a lot of fun (even if I felt like I shouldn't be having fun) 



I also wrote up my weekend away TRAVEL | WEEKEND IN MATLOCK, We had such a fun weekend, we went to an aquarium and played on 2p machines. Had a mini hen do right in the middle and watched the 1D movie. All the things 30 somethings should be doing 



My friend Janice sent me the Beauty | MUR Redemption Palette Iconic 1 which is a fab little pallet, we used it in one of our collab girlies videos and I really should dig it out and use it some more. 



As well as all of that I got over excited about the color pop sales and got bitten by customs charges!!! BEAUTY | Color Pop - I got a bit overexcited in t... it was worth it and my savings were more than customer charges.


June

I was away for half of June and only posts three times. One of these included a post for some new glasses I reviewed.



July

July saw me still being ill and recovering from my holiday. Whilst on holiday I finally found a Tiger store and I shared some of the things I bought STATIONERY | Tiger Store - My First Visit


I also shared "TRAVEL | 3 THINGS TO DO CARTEGENA" which is one of my favourite cities in Spain. I'd love to go back and spend a few days there. 


2017 was fraught with many trying times in my personal life, one I try and keep away from the blog, vlog and social media but looking back through twitter its clear to see I've been down, sad, miserable, angry and I still am in many ways. In  July I went on a course through work about being more mindful and it got me thinking and trying. I do still use some of the techniques I started but I really need to pick up where I left off with a lot of these Lifestyle | Mindfulness and Me



I did have a little competition win in June and my prize arrived in July and it was such a lovely little gift. It was from my favourite place to buy planner stickers on Etsy and as I'd made an order everything came in one package, it felt like Christmas opening it. PLANNING | The Ginger Cat co Haul and Comp Win



August

August was a busy month, I went to an event at Bella Italia EVENTS | La Notte Rosa at Bella Italia where we got to try the new summer menu and there were a lot of watermelon cocktails to go round!

It was also time to buy some new foundation BEAUTY | Rimmel Match Perfect and Lasting Finish F...
I really rate rimmel as a drugstore brand and I'm really pleased with all of the things I shared in this post.

I also reviewed another book BOOK REVIEW | On The Other Side by Carrie Hope Fle...


LIFESTYLE | Wax Melt Addiction - My 3 Most Used / ...

I got all excited about wax melts and I shared some of my favourite melts. My favourite place to buy them is from my local market but I did share some others that you can buy on the high street.


September


In September I was introduced to Feather Blade, Food & Drink | Featherblade Steak - Manchester This is such a good idea for steak lovers.



I also had a weekend away in Liverpool TRAVEL | Liverpool & TCFF Weekend 2017 Its a city I love and really enjoyed my time away. I also had my first Air BnB experience.




I also tried BEAUTY | Holler and Glow Face Masks From Primark a... for the first time and fell in love with a Mens face mask (Which I can't find any more)



October

In October I went to my first Christmas party Events | Festivities at the Hilton I'd never been in Cloud 23 before and I love it.


It was also a chance to get creative at EVENTS | We Are Reeves - Blogger Event and catch up with other bloggers.



One of the best events I was invited to this year was EVENTS | Gin Tasting @ Impossible Manchester. I took a work colleauge who loves Gin and we got totry some new ones and I may have found a favourite.


November

Another quiet month, another month of illness and a holiday but I did do another month of 30x30. I love this way of dressing and I'm going to try and do it throughout 2018. Although it's 2018 now and I have nothing organised!!! Fashion | 30x30 November Introduction


December

The final month of the year and it was a very festive time. I had an amazing afternoon tea at VCK
FOOD | Vintage Cupcake Kitchen - Festive Afternoo...



I tried to do Blogmas but as it was a spur of the moment thing I only made it to Day 9 | Blogmas 2017 - Canarian Christmas



There was also the annual Day 8 | Blogmas 2017 - Housing Units Festive Even...Housing Units event with was amazing as ever 



That was my 2017 all wrapped up in one post, here's to an amazing 2018

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