Monday, 13 November 2017

A Beauty Haul: Products for Autumn into Winter

Just recently, I did an online shopping haul with Boots collect+ and Superdrug for a mixture of essential and luxury items. At the beginning of autumn, I was just about finished with my previous perfume by Library of Fragrance. I was delighted with the brand so I thought I would try another fragrance from them. The ‘Paperback’ scent really drew me in, it sounded perfect for autumn/winter and I liked the book association as I’ve found over these months, I do more cosy reading with a blanket and hot chocolate. It seemed like a fun thing, to buy the perfume, and the reviews I read were very positive.

Next is my second ever purchase from Kind Natured at Boots, I’ve been interested in this natural brand lately, and had my eye on the jam doughnut shampoo, which was a very much needed toiletry, as my last shampoo ran out. The next two items I ordered from Superdrug, and each having the leaping bunny logo for being cruelty-free. Flutter is a beautiful brand by Superdrug, they have fun packaging, budget friendly prices and would make good Christmas gifting. These soap flowers were a little treat, and I can’t wait to indulge in a bath of flower petals.

Lastly I picked up a shower gel, by Superdrug Spaa, I’m not going to do a separate review post for this, and instead I’ll give you a quick summary now. I really rate the brand, I was first drawn to the marble packaging, and reasonable price point. They have a large range, so I might go back for more, as I loved the shower gel, particularly for the spa like scent.

I’ll be doing a few follow up review posts soon... 
Let me know which products from this haul caught your eye! :-) Xx

What I Bought Info:

Library Of Fragrance ‘Paperback’ Eau de Toilette 30ml
(£15.00/ Here)

Kind Natured Kids Jam Doughnut 2in1 Shampoo 200ml 
(£2.99/ Here)

Superdrug Flutter Bath Soap Flowers
(SALE £5.00/ Here)

Superdrug Spaa Bergamot & Cassis Shower Gel 250ml
(SALE £1.45/ Here)

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Recent Reads Reviewed #4

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert – 5/5

This was one of my favourite books this year so far, and maybe ever! There were so many clever ideas and stories in this book that moved me and Gilbert’s voice came across authentic and personal, it was like talking to a very wise friend. There were a few things that stood out to me while reading, one was the chapter about enchantment where she tells us about her own experiences of creative magic and she touches on creative friendships, which struck a chord. I loved reading her perspective on things throughout. It was a quick and easy book to read actually, I flew through it, and I had to take a moment to admire how pretty the cover is.

The Summer Book by Tove Jansson – 5/5

I read this over the summer, another book I just devoured. I picked this one up off my Mum’s bookshelf, and went in fairly blind to the plot, but it really took me by surprise at how much I loved it. I think the writing style and storytelling was extremely beautiful, the story is of an elderly artist and her six-year-old granddaughter who are away on a summer vacation together on a tiny island in the Gulf of Finland. This book is a literary classic, and outside my normal comfort zone, yet one of the best books I’ve ever read.

The Ice-Cream Makers by Ernest van der Kwast – 5/5

This was the first book I ever won on a Goodreads giveaway, and have had it on my shelf for a little while now. I picked it up mid-summer, as I thought the themes of ice-cream would fit the season. The story is of an Italian family ice-cream business, but eldest son Giovanni Talamini decides to break away by pursuing a literary career. Giovanni faces a dilemma: serve the family’s interests one last time or choose his own path in life, once and for all. This was a superb novel, I loved the writing, descriptions of the ice-cream, and believable characters.

Are you a seasonal reader? What makes you become interested in a book? :-) Xx

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

The Stray Café and Beach Walk Photo Diary

In October the weather was unusually sunny and mild, we headed for our favourite café spot for a cuppa, a cake and a sit outside. I had a cake with chocolate sprinkles on top, and a blueberry green tea, both were lovely. We’ve been making it a more regular thing, and I’ve been enjoying it. One of my most loved hobbies is photography, so every time we go, I have a wander on the nearby beach with my camera, while my parents have a sit and admire the seascape.

There was a lovely vibe to Marske beach that day, the sun had clearly persuaded people to come out, and there were many dogs, dog walkers and other people about. I have shared some of my fav photos from the day, including friendly dogs passing by, seascapes, macro etc. I hope you enjoy this different kind of post from me.

Have you been to any beaches recently? 
What kind of sights are there near you? :-) Xx

Sunday, 29 October 2017

The Snack Diaries | Part Six

Taylors of Harrogate Rose Lemonade Tea
(From Morrison’s, SALE £3.00 £2.00 for 20 tea bags)
I’m still catching up with some of my series posts, these snacks I tried and tested over the summer months. I received two flavours of the Taylors of Harrogate tea and was delighted with both. The rose lemonade was the perfect summer beverage, and one of my favourite ever fruit teas. I recommend you try it sometime.

Taylors of Harrogate Sour Cherry Fruit Tea
(From Morrison’s, SALE £3.00 £2.00 for 20 tea bags)
The sour cherry fruit tea tasted lovely too, there was a slight difference between this and the rose lemonade, and the cherry flavour was noticeable with a sour edge. Morrison’s often do offers, I picked mine up for my birthday, although the packaging has altered since.

Organix Punk’d Cocoa & Orange Oaty Bars
(From Too Good Farm Shop, £2.39 for 6 bars)
Admittedly the packaging drew me to these snack bars, but actually they were really yummy too, the cocoa and orange taste was lovely, but it didn’t come across too sweet. I can imagine these would be great for kids (or adults). The price seemed okay, but the individual portions felt a bit small.

Cocoa Republic Summer Sunshine White Chocolate
(From Too Good Farm Shop, £2.50 for 100g)
I bought this over the summer for a birthday treat at the farm shop, I shared on an earlier post and it felt like a real indulgence. The packaging is pretty, and the fruit pieces on the front of the chocolate are so decorative. The excellent quality shone through in the chocolate taste, it melted in your mouth, and the fruity pieces were a nice touch. The brand do other designs/flavours.

What are your favourite special tea brands? 
Does pretty packaging draw you in too? :-) Xx

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Delicious Café & Deli Tour/Review

Welcome – Today I wanted to share with you a café and deli I’ve visited on numerous occasions on the way to visit a relative. My Dad was doing some research to see where to stop at and he came across Delicious. It’s one of my favourite cafés I’ve been too, they have twinkly fairy lights to create a cosy feel, photography on the walls and a fantastic menu. Every time we go in, I’m spoilt for choice for what to eat.

They do a superb salad, with all kinds of toppings, previously I went for the sliced chicken breast salad which was divine. On other occasions I’ve had cheese on toast, a full breakfast, crumpets with scrambled egg etc. My brother came with us once and was delighted with a burger and chips on a piece of slate. My Mum and Dad have had a variety of meals, but I remember the most the quiche and salad, it was impressive. 

Delicious do everyday meals really well, the presentation is always on point, and everything tastes amazing. The prices are pretty reasonable for the generous portions, the staff are helpful and friendly, and each time we’ve visited the experience has been very pleasant. The café is located in Shevington, Gisburn if you want to visit sometime, I recommend you do.

Where has been your favourite place to eat out lately? 
What do you normally order in cafés? :-) Xx

Saturday, 21 October 2017

An Autumn Book Haul: The Works, Charity Shops & More

This particular book haul, is so unlike to what I normally go for, I guess I was in a different mood when buying them. I’m most looking forward to Flawed by Cecelia Ahern, as I believe it might be something enjoyable. Because I got these books second-hand, I felt it was easier to experiment with new genres and authors. I will let you know how I get on once I’ve read them!

Flawed by Cecelia Ahern

This is a dystopian series that I’ve heard a lot of good things about. I picked it up at a fair book stall for 50p. This one might be good to read over Halloween, I love the cover too!

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

I bought this in The Works, after wanting to delve into something with real significant topics. It’s very much outside my comfort zone, but maybe I’ll pick it up sometime.

How To Build A Girl by Caitlin Moran

I bought this just on the opinions from other people who have read it and my friend recommended the author. It was on sale in the British Heart Foundation charity shop, another book outside my comfort zone.

Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer

I vaguely recalled the title when I saw this one, and it mentions it’s won quite a few awards. It was 29p in another charity shop.

Do you have any thoughts on these books? 
What will you be reading this Halloween? :-) Xx

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Halloween All-American Cookies with Pumpkin Seeds

Lately I’ve been getting back into baking, I find it to be a fun activity on days at home. My Mum reminded me we had a few ingredients to use up, so I started looking into my recipe books for something appropriate. Soon after browsing in my BBC Good Food Cakes & Bakes book, I came across some all-American chocolate chunk cookies. The ingredients included lots of chocolate (some for melting), crunchy peanut butter, peanuts as well as the typical things such as flour, sugar, and an egg etc. In my mind the recipe was too sugary from all the chocolate so I adapted the recipe a little. I added some chocolate but not as much, a bit of peanut butter, and to substitute some of the extra chocolate, I added pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chopped brazil nuts and a very small amount of chocolate raisins along with the core ingredients.

They didn’t take long in the oven to cook, the main thing was weighing out the ingredients at the start and the mixing/preparation. They came out well in my mind, they had that earthy, made at home vibe to them and the texture was lovely. I don’t often adapt recipes, but doing so on this occasion gave me a bit of confidence to do it again. I made twelve cookies and we freezed some of the spare ones, having a little bit each day for nearly a week. I think with having the pumpkin seeds in, it’s quite a seasonal recipe, perfect for Halloween maybe. As shown are a few themed photos, they have a Halloween séance style to them, they are a bit quirky, but hope you like them!

Are you going to bake over Halloween? 
What recipes are on your bucket list? :-) Xx

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Rowley’s Too Good Farm Shop Tour and Review

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now, when visiting my Nan in Wigan, we often stop at the Too Good farm shop just near Wrightington. It’s ever so lovely, they do a wide range of organic food and drink, gifts and a bit of natural beauty products. Every time I go in, it feels like a treat, and I’ve been picking bits and pieces up, mainly for my snack diary posts.

The prices are actually really reasonable, and in comparison to similar shops, cheaper. My favourite part of the shop is the tea, chocolate and snacks area. They stock food and drink brands such as Clipper, Tick Tock, Doisy & Dam, Organix, Rude Health, Nine and some less known. In the beauty section they stock mostly Faith in Nature etc. 

I’ve taken some photos with my compact camera, so the quality isn’t as good as usual but you can get the idea from the images what the shop is like. From the outside there are beautiful flowers and plants on display, and on the inside the shop has a really cosy and welcoming atmosphere. I would recommend you visit or try something similar closer to you!

Does this farm shop look like somewhere you would like to visit? 
What have you been up to lately? :-) Xx