Beauty · Life · Uncategorized

Radiance Ring – Mobile

The Radiance Ring Mobile is an 8.5cm mini LED ring light that you can clip on to your phone (or tablet) to provide light for your selfies or videos. Because it’s a ring light, you get those cool circular reflections in the eyes that you see in all the top MUAs Instagram posts that make their eyes sparkle. Dreamy. And instead of getting a big bulky thing for your camera, you can just clip this little, well affordable (£12!) ring to your phone! (They do also sell 12″ and 18″ radiance ring lights for a bigger budget, as well as accessories for them.)

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The radiance ring’s light holds 36 individual LED bulbs with a little clicky button on the side so you can adjust the brightness. It also comes with a little USB cable because the ring light is rechargeable, as opposed to using batteries. So you can just charge it up and keep it in your handbag for the perfect selfie when you’re on the go, the  It’s also really light (in weight, I mean, duh? but it is also really a light…) so it won’t weigh you down when you’re using it and it doesn’t feel like you’ve added a brick to your handbag.

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I took a bunch of selfies, but honestly, I’m not feeling too great about my face at the moment. My bestie and I also had a couple of selfie sessions using this in her car too! It provided us with well diffused light and a nice glow. I’ve yet to really need to charge it again either. The battery lasts ages. Now I always have it in my handbag for any inpromptu selfies with friends. It gets a thumbs up from me.

Have you ever tried any add ons for your phone to aid photo taking? What do you think? Dope or nope?

Disclaimer: Radiance Ring was sent to me for review consideration. This post includes affiliate links, this means that I may get a % if you choose to purchase anything. It doesn’t change the price for you, it just helps me out. 🙂

 

book reviews · Reading · Uncategorized

Traitors from the Inside Out – MM Justine

Buckle in guys, you’re in for a wild ride. A lengthy one too. I didn’t intend this review to be so lengthy but I wanted to be as constructive as possible. This review is spoiler free.

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Traitors from the Inside Out was a difficult book for me to read; not because of the story or the characters, but because I found it troublesome to get on with the writing. I wanted a break and to read something else, but I was unsure of if I’d pick this book back up again. Had I not been provided a free copy for review, I don’t think I would have finished it; however, I persevered, and I’m glad that I did.

My struggle started as soon as the book did. Right off the bat, the writing felt stilted but also fluffed out with an unnecessary amount of adjectives.; often describing things that I felt didn’t need the elaboration or matter to me as the reader; whereas some other things could have benefited from being elaborated upon. Sometimes, this descriptiveness really put my mind right in to the location though albeit not always necessary or suited. I feel like M.M Justine could do an excellent job at writing a guided “journey” – where someone just takes your mind to a different place and evokes the surroundings so strongly you can almost feel the sun on your face; or in the case of her book, sometimes I could easily imagine the snow, the desire to put a jacket on to warm up, the cold pinching at my cheeks.

It feels like M.M Justine struggled with the writing process, especially initially. It takes a lot to write a book and I feel like you can see her develop more as a writer and develop more confidence as she continued to write, which I found fascinating and also really cool to witness. I feel like she could re-write the book either partly or in-whole now and improve majorly on her initial work.

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The main character, Martina, loses her parents in a fatal “accident” and heads up the family company in their stead. When talking about the work of the company, MM Justine really comes through and starts to shine. You can tell that she is very passionate about alternative medicine and her other beliefs. While the book is a work of fiction, the passion of the underlying inspiration really shows and definitely had me thinking about my own health, too. The writing relaxes, the flow improves and the readability of the book increases, along with my interest and investment in to the story. The story began to grip me and I wanted – no, HAD to find out where it would go.

So, what about the actual plot/premise? Well, I was determined to make it through the book, and I’m glad that I did. About 1/3rd through, we get to the good stuff. Now I want my review to be spoiler free, but all the good stuff happens beyond this point. Murder attempts, espionage, medical interference. I was hooked. I found myself incredibly keen to find out what was happening around Martina, her company and the world as a whole; things started to fall down like dominoes. I even wanted to find out how things were going to pan out for the books bad guys. Some of the villains were naturally so. Some where manipulated in to becoming the bad guys. The narrative benefited the intrigue as it would switch between perspectives which I found helped to draw me in.

I had a lot of trouble connecting with the seemingly almost-robotic Martina. Initially she seemed devoid of much personality or even emotion, however, her humanity showed through later in the book, and I found myself beginning to connect with her; eager to participate in her journey for the truth. I wanted to be by her side and stick it out as she uncovered the truth about her parents and made more headway in to uncovering something I can only describe as astounding, yet horrendous…

The story developed in a way that I didn’t expect, especially based on my initial impressions. However, Traitors from the Inside Out had an incredible unique and original plot and the sequels hold promise. It’s a shame the execution of the writing, especially initially, was poor. The fact that I ended up hooked in spite of this is a testament to the excellence of the the story that MM Justine wanted to tell. I hope that one day, maybe when she has completed the final installment, she will revisit her original works and see if she can improve upon them because such a unique and intense story deserves to be read.

Available for purchase on Kindle and in Paperback.

Beauty · skincare · Subscription Boxes · Uncategorized

Dollar Shave Club – Just for Men?

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You’ve probably heard of Dollar Shave Club by now; if not, do you live under a rock? I’ve seen so many American YouTubers include DSC partnerships in their videos – Although the US offerings are different the UK offerings. I decided to order myself a trial box and put it to the test. Is it just for men? Would it be better than other razors I’ve tried?

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The box took a few days to arrive after I ordered it. Not really speedy delivery, but that didn’t bother me. Also; it seems that the package was despatched from continental Europe, so accounting for that, delivery time was not bad at all.

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The trial box has four items in. The razor handle, a pack of four razor cartridges, a tube of shave butter and a little 16 page magazine which is great for those moments when you head to the bathroom and think you’re just gonna pee so you don’t take your phone but you end up actually having to take a dump. I believe the magazines content is different every month, and it’s actually pretty cool. One thing that I didn’t see mentioned on the website (though I may have missed it) but that did come with the welcome card was that they donate a portion of sales of the box to charity.

This particular set is called “The Executive”, which, I’d associate with a dude, but like macho-sounding shower gels, it doesn’t mean you have to be macho to use it. The razor head cartridges are housed in a cardboard sleeve. Each cartridge contains 6 stainless steel blades, a trimmer edge and lubricating strip. On their own, four of the cartridges ship for £8 a month; which seems a little pricey compared to the £5 price tag that the trial box carries. The razor handle is quite weighty. But how about their functioning?

Well, it has been a couple of days since I shaved and my legs still feel lovely. The razor yielded a very close shave without having to go back over any of the same spots. The handle weight was perfectly balanced and it felt better to hold and use than my Friction Free Shaving Razor or any of the other cartridge razors I’ve used before. It also gave me the closest shave. I wondered if it’s because it’s aimed at coarse man-face hair; but I remember I once used to use mens gillette razors on my legs and this was still better. So, I decided to try it down in my southern regions to see how it would cope with /that/ hair and also to see if the shave butter would corrode ones lady-parts.

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I used it just with soap suds on my arm-pits, but also used the shave butter when I shaved my legs. While “Dr Carver” isn’t really the most reassuring name for a shave product, I can gladly say that it carved nothing aside from the excess hair that I wanted to be rid of. It smells clean and fresh, but very inoffensive. I’m sensitive to some things and was concerned the butter would leave my skin feeling slippery/oily; it did not. It helped the razor glide along my legs, but it also rinsed off the razor easily and didn’t clog it up. So once I was done shaving my legs and was happy with the result, I decided to tackle my lady-garden. DSC has no mention about where is okay to use the shave butter, it just says to use it in shaveable places… so I thought I’d give it a go and report back so nobody else need suffer a bush-fire.

I’m pleased to report that it did not cause any burning or stinging to my downstairs – though of course we’re all different and some are more sensitive than others. I was a heavy Lush bath bomb user and touch wood *touches some wood* I’ve never had thrush, but some women only need to look at a bath bomb to suffer. My shave was satisfactory and less irritating than usual methods. I admittedly usually suffer from razor bumps on my bikini-line the following day but the balm seems to have worked a treat there.

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I think that’s about it really! In conclusion? No, it’s not just for men. I’d rather have a better shave with something less girly than a more feminine razor that doesn’t quite make the cut. You can order your Dollar Shave Club Trial Box for £5 via their website. It’s £8 each month after that unless you downgrade or choose deliveries to be every 2 months instead of monthly, though you can cancel anytime, so you could just get the trial box and cancel if you’d like. I would really recommend it.

Have you tried Dollar Shave Club or any other shave subscription box before? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

book reviews · Reading · Uncategorized

Book Simulator (#LoveBooksGroupTours)

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Woo! I’m so happy to be taking part in my first blog tour! I’m thankful to be able to take part. I’m not the only one, so if you fancy checking it out, see the above poster for all the other lovely bloggers who will be covering Book Simulator by Chris Yee on the book tour! For now, here is the synopsis and my review of the book.

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HATE READING? THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU!!!

We all know you don’t like to read, but don’t worry, Book Simulator is here to save the day. Convince your friends that you are an avid reader. Utilize techniques that almost anyone can learn. Techniques include: page turning, eye movement, note taking, and much more. Book Simulator includes interactive exercises that allow you to practice your craft. Impress your friends and master the art of book simulation.

Looking for humor, comedy, laughs, jokes, and all other forms of funny? Book Simulator is a humorous take on the conventions of a traditional book. While it pokes fun at various aspects of reading, it also celebrates the spirit of storytelling and encourages the exploration of future stories to come.

For extensive coaching in the very serious field of pretend reading, purchase Book Simulator today.

Print and ebook versions of Book Simulator are slightly different, each with format specific content and other small variations. Why not try out both?

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Book Simulator is a humorous, tongue-in-cheek take on reading. I was intrigued by the books synopsis and instantly knew I wanted to try it out. Spoiler alert, you don’t have to hate reading.

This book is an excellent, light read, it had me chuckling multiple times throughout as the humor came through immediately; meanwhile the Book Simulator told me off for failing to follow some very simple instructions. The style of writing is casual and informal and it feels very much directed at the reader and more personal, which I found to help connect the reader (me) with the humor and aided my enjoyment of the book.

While the book jokes about simulating book reading while not having to read a single word, it actually reminds us of how enjoyable books can be and how we can engage with them, get more from our reading experience and enjoy it; rather than just reading to appear intelligent and get brownie points from people in society who probably actually don’t even care.

I don’t want to spoil the ending of the book; because it could very well be easily spoiled, however, I do want to tell you how the book took an unexpected turn as I headed towards the end and I was lead on a journey that I really wasn’t expecting. The final note reminds us that there are always people who will fight for stories, giving a nod to some classic authors, y’know, in case you feel like reading a real book, or pretending to, at least!

I’d definitely recommend giving this book a go, especially if you like light reads that will make you chuckle.

Book Simulator is available on Amazon in both Kindle and Paperback versions. There is a difference between the two versions. I personally have the paperback, as you can see, however the Kindle edition is free at the moment. I recommend paperback for the more realistic Simulator experience though. 😉

body · disability · Health · Life · self-care · Uncategorized

Have you heard of Flotation?

Have you heard of flotation? I don’t mean those big inflatable pool-floaty things or those foam pool noodles or rectangles you use to help you to learn how to swim. Turns out, floatation actually has nothing to do with swimming at all. Shows like Stranger Things brought a little more attention to floatation, but many people still haven’t heard of it or know what it does, so I had a chat with Mark Smethurst – The owner of a flotation therapy center in my little town of Stafford (the first one that opened in the West Midlands, actually!) to find out about the center and what flotation is actually all about. Spoiler alert: It’s fascinating, and I think everyone should give it a go!

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Time to Float‘s location was a little bit surreal to me, as it turns out, it’s actually in the building of an old radio station that I used to volunteer for. I’m good at getting lost, so thankfully, it means I know exactly where the place is! (Which is at 146 Marston Road, Stafford, ST16 3BT, if you decide you'[d like to give it a go!)

So what actually is flotation? It’s basically a less scary way of talking about a sensory deprivation pod. It doesn’t make you awaken latent crazy powers like TV may have you believe, but it can do a lot of other things for you; but I’ll go in to that shortly. First I’m going to tell you a little about this particular flotation center.

As I mentioned, Time to Float was the first flotation therapy location to open in the West Midlands. Flotation is gaining more traction in the world and when you understand what it can do, it’s easy to see why! The location is a small one in the Northern Quarter of Stafford county town (which has some lovely places to visit in general) and delightfully cosy with warm and welcome staff who are happy to have a good natter with you or just let you do your thing.

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So, what do you do, and what can it do for you?

Well, I won’t go in to too many details of what happens when you get there, but basically you fill out a health form, have a little tour and have the place explained to you and this introduction is tailored to you based on your responses to the health form if you have certain medical issues.

In the room is a flotation pod (it’s actually about the size of a Mercedes A Class) and a shower and a few other bits and bobs that will be explained to you before you start, and they’ll only leave you once you’re comfortable! You have a shower and get in this big-ass pod of water and literally sit back and float, thanks to the 800lbs of epsom salt! Now, its advised you close the pod and turn off the light but you can have the light on if you want or prop the pod open or whatever you like.

The water in the pod is heated to body temperature, as is the air, which is circulated to keep the flow of oxygen. Thanks to the 800lbs of epsom salt (which leave your skin feeling so soft, and you don’t look like a prune when you get out either!), you just float in the water effortlessly. (The pod water is filtered four times after each use and the room cleaned, plus the salts are a natural disinfectant too, if that concerns you at all!) Apparently, it’s so relaxing, many people simply fall asleep half way through, which is totally okay! In fact, sleeping for a short while in the pod can have the effect of several hours of really blissful sleep. The salt has a sort of anti-gravity effect, resulting in a feeling of weightlessness; this also helps muscles to get complete rest (and breakdown lactic acid) and for your skeleton to re-align in its natural position. This effect, combined with the high levels of magnesium thanks to the salt (which is also anti-inflammatory) mean floatation can actually help a huge variety of ailments and chronic illnesses, including chronic pain, sleep disorders, mental health issues, or even just being sore from a workout.

Music lulls you away and will also slowly bring you back to reality after your hour is up. You get out, shower to wash all the salt away and get changed and then there is a little recovery room with a hair dryer and mirrors and some skincare products if you wish to use them. Then it’s back through to the main area where they will give you all the water you can drink and let you chill for as long as you like. They’re happy to talk about your float or just leave you to it. Whatever you’d prefer to do basically.

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There’s way more I could go in to, but this post is already getting a little lengthy. However, chances are, if you suffer from any ailment, floatation can probably help as an alternative therapy – keep in mind though, it’s not a magic cure, nor does it claim to be! However, as someone with chronic illnesses, I couldn’t resist looking in to it and the science checks out. Though you’re welcome to do your own research or contact the center for a chat if you want to learn more. If you choose to book, they have a Float More program they can tell you about too. (that link will take you to referral by me, but if you go in person or talk on the phone or social media, be sure to give me a cheeky little mention)

Even if you feel pretty well in yourself, floatation can really have a great effect as it helps encourage production of endorphins and a reduction of cortisol, so it may just be good for some self-care or a slice of zen. I think that it’s certainly worth a go. If anything can help my pain without having to dose up on medication, that’s always good.

You can find out more via the Time to Float website or catch them on twitter @timetofloatuk. Have you ever tried floatation? Or do you want to give it a go now? I’m interested to hear what you think!

 

Health · Life · self-care · Uncategorized

6 tips for Self-Care

Self-care is SUCH an important thing, yet many of us fail to do it on a regular basis. Life is hectic and often, we are too busy trying to be kind and help other people that we forget to do it for ourselves. So, today, I thought I’d share some of my self-care tips/activities outside of basic human functioning (maybe I’ll do another post on that?)

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Read a book – Maybe even go and read outside if the weather is nice. Your body would benefit from the dose of vitamin D. Books allow us to escape in to an entirely different world and escape from our own heads for a little while. This is one of my favourite hobbies and it benefits my mental health greatly.

Spend 20 minutes outside – As I mentioned in my previous point, the body benefits greatly from Vitamin D. Living in England, it’s so easy to be deficient in vitamin D, so it’s good to take some time and sit outside, even if you just sit there texting, have your lunch, make a phone call or whatever. It’ll give you a nice little boost.

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Drink more water – An obvious one yet so many of us don’t do it. We can often be so busy that we forget to sip water here and there. You can add fruits or cucumber or mint leaves or whatever to have infused water for a refreshing twist. Our bodies have a high percentage of water and while you may not feel particularly thirsty, even slight dehydration can have a negative effect on the body. Keep your brain-sponge full of water and you will be more prepared for dealing with your day.

Use a facemask – It’s good to stop and have a little pamper. You don’t even have to stop now with a lot of facemasks. Throw one on while you’re in the bath, reading, playing games, cleaning the kitchen; or actually lie back and just take the time to rest. Your skin will be happy for the care and it’s good to look after yourself.

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Get off social media – We’re all guilty of being a little addicted to social media. Have you ever thought about how much time you waste passively using social media; such as just scrolling through facebook and not really doing anything? There have actually been studies that show this can have a negative impact on mental health. (Sorry, if you wanna see the studies, you’ll have to google them yourself! The youtuber Boyinaband summarised my point in his video about internet addiction really well though.)

Colour in a colouring book page – You’re a grown adult. So what? Nothing compares to going back to child-like roots where you colour in or scribble with reckless abandon. The image in a colouring book is already there so there is no pressure to get something drawn; you don’t have to really think about it. It’s a good escape and it makes your brain happy. If you’re like me and still feel a bit like you need to colour perfectly and use the right shades or whatever, there’s a book called Colour Quest which is basically like a colour by numbers but they’re all tessellating shapes – you won’t figure out the image until you’ve coloured a lot of it in!

That’s it for this post. I may do another one soon if people enjoyed this. I have quite a few more ideas! If you have any fun or unusual tips for self-care, I’d love to hear them.

Remember to be kind to yourself!

Blogging · Life · Uncategorized

Mystery Blogger Award

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The lovely Ruth from Ruth in Revolt nominated me for the Mystery Blogger Award. Ruth is 27 and from the UK. New to the blogging scene, she participates actively in the community and blogs about anything and everything, just like myself, so needless to say, I’m a fan of her blog!

What is The Mystery Blogger Award?

Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion. (Okoto Enigma, Award Creator.)

What To Do:

  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog.
  2. List the rules.
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
  5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  6. You have to nominate 10 – 20 people.
  7. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice.
  9. Share a link to your best post(s).

 

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threethings

  • I am completely intolerant to garlic. It’s devastating. Sob.
  • I absolutely adore books. So much so, I read 101 of them last year! Sadly, I’m nowhere near that amount this year; I’ve just not had as much time!
  • It has been 7 years since I moved out from my parents’ house!

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  1. What is something that everybody else seems to love, but you don’t understand the fuss? Uhh, The Walking Dead! I tried to watch a couple of episodes with my boyfriend but we both agreed it was actually pretty boring.
  2. What’s the best fact you know? Due to the percentage of cocoa solids in Cadbury Dairy Milk (<25%), it legally isn’t able to be classed as Milk Chocolate, only “Family Milk Chocolate”(20-25% cocoa solids))
  3. If you were locked in solitary confinement, how long do you think you would last before you wanted out? It depends. Do I get books? Provided I have things to keep me occupied, I think I would cope for quite a while. If I had nothing, not even a magazine, it wouldn’t take too long at all.
  4. If you could travel in time, where would you go and why? This is a tough question. I’m really not sure. I worry about the consequences of time travel…
  5. What do you think is your best quality? I’m pretty nice, I guess? Probably that. I mean, it’s a good trait, right?

My Nominees Are:

I’m gonna leave it at 8 because most of my blogger circle have already just done this award tag, including two already shared. I don’t blame them if they don’t do it again!

Questions for my nominees:

  1. Have you ever broken a bone?
  2. When was the last time you went on a stay-cation/overnight trip?
  3. What did you want to grow up to become when you were a child?
  4. What is your current music obsession?
  5. Do you generally prefer the book or it’s movie adaption?

My Top Three Posts: