Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Halloween Countdown | Lush Pumpkin Bubble Bar Review

I, like most people, absolutely love Lush. There's nothing better than a nice smelling bubble bath after a stressful day. I love the themed ranges Lush comes out with for the different holidays, so I was very excited to try their number 1 autumnal product: Pumpkin Bubble Bar.
Cute little fella, isn't he? He should have a stem, but alas, it fell out.
According to the Lush website, the Pumpkin Bubble Bar contains ylang ylang oil and orange flower absolute to leave you feeling 'uplifted and refreshed'. Personally, I always feel refreshed after a nice long soak in the bath. 

To use the bubble bar you simple crumble chunks of this bubble bar under the running tap of your bath. Lots of people (including me!) like to split bubble bars in half and save the second half for another bath. While this guy certainly creates mounds of bubbles, I personally didn't feel the scent was very strong so that may be a factor in deciding whether to use him all in one go or not. It makes the water a very nice and bright orange, and the lack of scent didn't seem to allude to a lack of ingredients because it certainly felt lovely and moisturising. 

Possibly the best thing about this guy is the price. £2.75 each? Bargain.

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Monday, 21 October 2013

Halloween Countdown | The best way to use up leftover chocolate

You know how it goes. You don't really think you'll get any trick or treaters, so you don't buy much chocolate. Until a day before when suddenly you panic buy. After Halloween night you are stuck with mounds of leftover chocolate. Here's an exciting way to use it up.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart:

Here's my go at it:

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Sunday, 20 October 2013

Halloween Countdown | Halloween Printables!

Following on from yesterdays Halloween  Countdown post is another decorating post. One of my favourite ways to decorate is using printables, and they are free! My bedroom at university was covered in printables, and since then my love for them has only grown.

Here's some of my favourite Halloween printables from around the web:

First up from The Prudent Patron  are these beautiful designs (and loads more):

Next up, I absolutely adore this simple but very cute printable from UnfortunatelyOh 
And finally, this beautiful Shakespeare quote from Carissamiss :

Do you love printables as much as I do?

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Saturday, 19 October 2013

Halloween Countdown: My favourite Halloween Etsy Picks

Welcome to my Halloween countdown! Over the next 13 days you're going to be treated to a Halloween themed post every single day. 

When I'm older and finally have my own house and children, I'm going to be one of those people who is over-invested in decorating for the holidays. I just know it. One of my favourite things to do the past month or so is to check out what Halloween themed items are available on etsy... even though I don't have anywhere to decorate! I thought I'd share some of my favourite items with you, all from UK sellers.
1. First up is this lovely Mini Boo Halloween Cushion by ilovehearts. I have a little soft spot in my heart for felt and I adore this kitschy sort of design.
2. Next we have this beautiful Reclaimed Wooden Happy Halloween sign by MapleandGreen. This is the sort of this that would definitely be hung on the door in my (imaginary) future house.
3.This Plush Ghost Decoration by ClaireyLouCreations might be the cutest thing I've ever seen. So adorable.
4. If I was to be having a halloween party, I'd definitely use these Wanda's Witch's Brew Halloween Tags by Amaretto to decorate the drinks table a bit. 
5. I am incredibly tempted to buy these Halloween Ghost Trick or Treat Bags by FunkyDoryPartyBags for the children I babysit for. How cute are they?

Are you like me, do you love decorating imaginary houses in your mind?

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Thursday, 17 October 2013

Maureen Johnson 'The Royal Visit' at Waterstones Birmingham New Street

Maureen Johnson is probably my favourite author right now. She's witty, intelligent, hilarious, writes in a fantastic style and is really really really good at twitter. I actually first found Maureen through twitter, and after reading her tweets decided it was probably time to read her books After that I progressed to professional Maureen fangirl, so when the lovely Waterstones Birmingham New Street asked if I'd like to come along and blog at the Birmingham stop of Maureen's recent UK book tour I, of course, jumped at the chance! 

I first went into the store at about 5PM after I had arrived in Birmingham, to collect my ticket, and I was wowed by how pretty it was. In the centre of the store was a grand staircase and there were lovely high ceilings which gave the whole place a sense of grandeur. I came back at about quarter to seven, where I joined a queue of eager readers. We were let in at 5 minutes to seven, to browse Maureen's books and find ourselves seats. On our seats were some badges featuring Maureen's face, which  I put in my bag from my best friend and fellow Maureen Johnson fangirl Ria and I. Next thing I know, Maureen was introduced and ran around from the back of the store and the evening began. 

Maureen is every bit as witty, intelligent and hilarious in real life as she seems online and through her books. It is so incredibly rare for an author to live up to the expectations - the person you believe that they are in your head - but she did, entirely. Unfortunately she was sick and had lost her voice, but she assured us it didn't hurt - just sounded bad. She also gushed about how beautiful the store was, how most Waterstones are beautiful, and how England is genuinely a little bit better than the US (my words, not hers, but it was implied).

She started the evening by getting the audience to ask her questions, which is unlike most author events which have a dedicated Q&A session. She answered questions on a variety of topics, including writing, publishing and puppies, some of which you can see details of here on Bloggers Bookshelf. She even answered a question on gendered book covers from a very shy, nervous and awkward me. 

About an hour after the event it finished for signings. I met another lovely book blogger in the queue, you can check out her blog here and after ten minutes or so I got to meet Maureen. She was lovely and even though I was incredibly cheeky and got my copy of The Madness Underneath signed, as well as a note written for Ria and got a photo together she really didn't seem to mind. Then I got to drift back to my hotel on the ultimate meeting-your-heroes high. 

A massive thanks to Waterstones Birmingham New Street (seriously go there it's beautiful), Maureen Johnson and Hot Key Books for putting on the great event.

You can read more about this event and what Maureen said over on Bloggers Bookshelf right here.

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Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Forever 21 Birmingham Visit & Haul

Last weekend I was lucky enough to go to Birmingham for an event you can read all about tomorrow. The first thing I did as soon as I arrived was check out the Bullring, a shopping centre in the centre of Birmingham. My feet naturally drifted towards Forever 21, a shop I've wanted to visit since it burst onto the UK high-street scene a few years ago. Unfortunately there's no stores near where I live, and I'm pretty cautious about ordering clothes online if I'm unsure of the stores sizing. So off I headed towards Forever 21, with the intention to try on essentially everything to get a good idea of what size I would be there.
The store was not hard to find. As I entered the Bullring from a nifty walkway from the train station I was faced with it. And isn't it beautiful? The store is set out over three floors, one dedicated to shoes and accessories alone. I must admit I was a little surprised at the prices, still affordable but definitely cheaper online - which I imagine is because of the numerous sales and offers the Forever 21 website always has going on. I tried on thirteen items on my little trying on session, which I was glad as I did as some of the items are on the small side. I wanted at least eight of the items I tried on, but unfortunately could only afford to buy three. Here's what I bought.
Ditsy Fox Sweater - £16.75
Basic Top (Navy) - £6.50
Logo Top - £10.50

I did love Forever21, and am looking forward to going back to a store. Maybe I'll try one of the ones in London next?

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Monday, 14 October 2013

VO5 Plump It Up Amplifying Blow Dry Lotion | Product Review

One of the greatest parts about growing up with just my mum and my sisters is the constant discovery of new beauty products. I'm definitely guilty of rooting through my sisters make up bag to find what new things she's bought recently. I was having a little peruse over my mums dressing table and found this little miracle spray and decided to try it out - It has fast become a firm favourite of mine. 

I put a tiny bit into my hair after quickly towel drying it, and comb it through with my fingers before going on to blow dry it. I find that it speeds up the drying time a bit, which is great when you have thick and long hair like I do. It puts a great lift in your hair, and is great as a first step in the styling process or as just a pick me up when you can't be bothered to do much more. This bottle is finally on it's way out and my Mum says that she has had it for a couple of months before I got my mitts on it. It is also so cheap compared to many other brands, when it does exactly the same job.

Sorry about the quality, iPhone photo!
VO5's Plump It Up Amplifying Blow Dry Lotion is available online at Amazon and Superdrug for £3.69.

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