Monday, 30 April 2012

March Empties

Apologies for the lateness of posting, again. I have been so busy with work I just haven't got around to blogging much lately, but I have taken loads of pictures the past few days while I can and hopefully should have a few posts to go soon.

So March was a very productive month on the empties front, finally I had a large amount of finished products, and my first makeup product! It made me so happy I instagrammed it.


Without further ado, here are the empties for March!

Body Shop Coconut Shower Cream
£4 for 250ml form The Body Shop

This is a product that is a bit of a staple for me, I mentioned in my January Empties that I keep a supply of Body Shop shower products in my cupboard because they are some of the only nicely scented ones that I can use without irritation. The coconut shower cream is my go to for when my skin needs a bit more nourishment, and I will continue to use and repurchase this for a while I think!

No7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Water
£9 for 200ml from Boots

I grabbed this cleansing water after seeing it on a couple of blogs when the new No7 range first launched thinking ooo this could be a good alternative to my Micellar solutions. Boy was I wrong. I had never used any No7 skincare before other than the face wipes, and as all face wipes give me little allergy breakouts I didn't think anything of it when I had miniature mountain ranges on my face. But when I tried this product it because clear to me that No7 reacts the same as Clinique on my skin, it gives me awful hard little bumps all over and should be avoided. Thankfully I had used nearly 3/4 of the bottle when I narrowed the reaction down to this product, so I simply used the rest up sharpish and went back to my La Roche Posay. I was a little disappointed though as I quite like the pump (even if its closing mechanism is a little loose) and the price is cheaper than my standard cleansers. If you are ok with No7 products normally I would give this a try, especially if you have a £5 off voucher.
It is also worth noting that at the same time I purchased a night cream, and didn't use it as my other one wasn't finished yet, and Boots took it back for a full refund with no quibbles what so ever when I explained, I was really impressed with their customer service!

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Take The Heat Deep Treatment
£4.99 from Boots or any good supermarket

Now I don't heat treat my hair that often, but I do feel like the ends get a little ragged as my hair tangles very easily and gets knotty, so I grabbed this to help revive it a little, and while I got some lovely compliments about my hair while using it, it isn't a product I am loyal to. The product left my hair sliky and smooth but still in need of a serum during the day, while it felt moisturised while in the shower, once it had air dried I didn't notice a huge difference.
 I come back to aussie often because they are often on reduced price offers and things, but I think in future for deep treatments I will try slightly higher end products to see if they are worth it. 

L'Oreal Telescopic Clean Definition Mascara
£10.99 from Boots

I picked this particular mascara up after hearing the waterproof telescopic mascara raved about on YouTube, and Boots didn't have any in stock. I figured what the hell, clean definition is more my kind of thing anyway. I did quite like the product as it gave me nicely separated lashes, and it lasted a reasonable amount of time before drying out, but I wouldn't purchase it again. The steep price tag has put me off, I have used much better mascaras from other brands, and I would only grab it if it was on a decent offer.

Cetaphil Moisturising Lotion
£8.99 from Boots or Lloyds Pharmacy

The cleanser that accompanies this lotion is one of my holy grail products, but unfortunately for me the lotion isn't as great. I have used this both on my face, where it doesn't sink in quickly enough, and on my body, where it doesn't hydrate enough. However, if you are undergoing Roaccutane treatment it is amazing as it doesn't irritate at all or clog pores, and as your skin is very dry during treatment it sinks in nicely.

Sanctuary Spa Perfectly Polished Hot Cloth Cleanser
£10.20 from Boots

The tube pictured here is actually the old packaging, and I believe a different product to the new packaging currently available on Boots shelves. The new product is by far superior, so don't worry about missing out in that sense. I am a big advocate of the sanctuary hot cloth cleanser though because with my skin it does exactly the same as the Liz Earle one but without such a strong scent. This one is also a few quid cheaper, and you can even get it for an extra £5 off when Boots have those discount vouchers that print with your receipt, pretty good in my books! 
I already have a couple of bottles of the new packaging version of this in my cabinet and one on the go, I will be repurchasing this for a long time.

L'Occitane Shea Butter Cocoa Flower Hand Cream
£8 for 30ml from L'Occitane 

I received this in a magazine absolutely ages ago and am so glad I did. This product is amazing, it is hydrating without being greasy, sinks in quickly and smells divine. Think cocoa, but milder, softer, and more delicate. The ladies at work have all complimented the scent of this product and loved it when they have tried some, next time I am in Sheffield I will be popping in for another tube!

Bobbi Brown Oil Free Even Finish Compact Foundation
£29.00 from House of Fraser

This is one of those products that I have both loved and hated while I have used it. Initially I was thrilled with how it made my skin look, having found it difficult to get a decent shade match for a long time when I spotted a new Bobbi Brown counter I was in House of Fraser like a shot and getting my makeup done by Georgina, one of the head artists for the UK. I looked slightly radiant with a nice and even skintone and felt great. Then after a while it started to look awful and cakey as the product started to dry out no matter how thinly I applied it, and had completely slid off my face by lunchtime, it lost its lustre rather quickly. 
After giving it a break and coming back to the product intending to finish it up, I found that when applying it with the Cosmopolitan Beauty Blender dupe I liked the lighter application I got and actually found I could work with it.
 I will never repurchase as the price is exorbitant for not being completely satisfied, but it wasn't a bad product per-se.

Balance Me Super Moisturising Hand Cream
£14.50 for 100ml from Balance Me also available in Waitrose

I received this hand cream in my first ever Carmine Box and at first I hated it. It took me some time to get used to the scent, and the cream is very thick so not great for while I am working (the main time I use hand cream), and while the density of the cream means it is deeply moisturising, it also means it leaves you a little greasy after application. 
I do love that the product is 98.8% natural, and can actually be used most places on your body for intense dry patches, not just your hands, but the scent is hard to get over. They use essential oils that have added skin benefits and while the reasoning behind it is sound, I just wish it didn't whiff quite so much!

So there you have it, a lot of empties this month and only a couple I would repurchase. 
How many empties did you rack up in march? I already have quite a few for April.

:) xo

Ishbel, an update

I thought it was about time I gave you an update on the current state of my Ishbel shawl, mainly because it is the only project that is currently on the needles which I would call "active" (I haven't knit any for a few weeks now, but I am slogging away on it slowly)

I am also on holiday from workplace number 1 this week as it is my birthday on wednesday, so I am hoping to get it finished. That should give you an idea of where I am with it.


Now the colours in this are slightly off, because the exposure wasn't quite right when I took the picture. The weather in the UK for the past month has been awful. But, I am hoping you can see how far along the lace I am! 

I am currently on section C of the pattern, and as I am knitting the small version I have only got section D, the one row section E and the bind off to go. I am rather excited that this is nearly done, but I can't say it is for a good reason. The yarn I am using, Noro Kureyon Sock, while looking pretty feels almost like string while knitting. I am hoping with washing and blocking it will bloom a little so that it isn't horrible to wear, but the way it has been plied (I think) has made it feel very rough as it runs through my fingers, usually resulting in the little bumps I got a few summers ago using very small needles, so a contact rash.

The colours themselves however are working up nicely, I am so glad I chopped out the ugly coloured parts because this will make a great vibrant summer scarf now, where as before I know I would have looked at the mucky khaki and felt a little sad.

A note on the chart reading, I have been using the magnets method I first used for Marina (though I now have a little notie board instead of a cooking tray) and it is working so far, but I am finding it harder to track with this chart as you move between charts. I have however been introduced to an app called J Knit by Sarah from All Fingers and Thumbs and am going to give it a go with my next project. It is one of the few apps where I wish I could borrow my mum's iPad for it it though, the iPhone is a bit small.

Here's to hoping that there will soon be  FO report for this one, I want to start on something new!!

Monday, 23 April 2012

World Book Night

First up, apologies for the lack of posts, I have 5 book reviews in the works but i've been a bit of a busy worker bee (actually being a librarian! Whoop!) and so haven't got around to writing them, but they are on the way.

Now the actual reason for this post:


Tonight is World Book Night, and all around the country thousands of volunteers are going to be giving away a million books, this is a pretty spectacular thing to be a part of, and I am giving away all of those books above in my local town of Gainsborough!

The book itself is Neil Gaiman (reviews of his awesome books American Gods and The Graveyard Book can already be found on this blog) and Terry Pratchett's (haven't read any of his yet, but have had The Colour of Magic on my shelf for ages) Good Omens, and will be one of the upcoming reviews.

I was hoping to have it read and reviewed ready for today, but unfortunately my shipment of books arrived last, and on a day I wasn't at work. Typical. I can say however that so far it is fabulous, and has already had me giggling into my cup of tea. The long and short of it is that it is about the apocalypse, from a hilarious perspective, if you've seen the film Dogma, and found it funny and or interesting, this is better.

If you live in Gainsborough, watch out for me wandering around the town, but if not there are thousands of givers out there, so I am sure will come across someone with some books to give away today, so grab a copy and get reading!


Monday, 2 April 2012

FO: Bon Temps Marina

I am so glad to have this finished in time for summer, I started it almost two years ago intending to wear it during that summer, and I can finally wear it, yellow like the summer sun, while soaking in the rays :)


Pattern Name: Marina by Kate Blackburn
Yarn Used: Fresh From the Cauldron Super Wash Sock in Sookie Stackhouse 
Needle Size: 2.5mm circular
Problems: Another one where a small needle made it difficult to knit in the heat, and much easier to finish in winter. 
Modifications: Knit an extra repeat of chart 2, and modified edging to suit lack of remaining yarn to rows 1, 2, 11 and 12 of the edging chart followed by a standard bind off.
Skills Learnt: The first time I had knit continuous lace in this way, and became confident in reading charts.
Knit Again?: Probably not as it is quite detailed and therefore difficult.
Score: 9/10 I am really looking forward to wearing this!!