The Best Hairdryer for Frizzy Hair

Best_Hairdryer_for_frizzy_hair

On the search for the best hairdryer for frizzy hair, frizzy girls will know too well the laborious task of simply getting their hair straight and smooth.  I’ve thrown my fair share of cold stares at the girl that *can just shower and leave her hair to dry naturally*.  The silkiness almost kills me.

Annoyingly then, it wasn’t until the age of 27 I discovered hairdryers could actually be my friend, instead of my enemy.  Meaning, they weren’t just made for the girl who doesn’t need it (i.e. the type of girl I just described above).

No, there is a hairdryer out there that’ll smooth my hair so it won’t need further styling.  A hairdryer that doesn’t turn my hair into a giant puff ball.  And no, this hairdryer isn’t a Dyson.

Best Hairdryer for Frizzy Hair

Alright enough with the intro’s, I read an article or two a few years ago about Parlux. An Italian brand I’d never heard that made supposedly the best hairdryers.  (This was before Dyson exploded onto the scene.  Note: I like Dyson, I just can’t afford one.)

I soon noticed my hairdresser using a Parlux on my hair and my decision was made.  After all, she was the first hairdresser that managed to blow dry my hair and not smooth things over with a straightener after.

Parlux 3500 Compact

Best_Hairdryer_for_frizzy_hair

I’ll admit, I’m not clued up on the difference between Parlux models.  But comparing models with the useful Parlux compare chart, this is one of the lightest models out there. My wrists are thankful!  Being both ceramic and ionic is perfect for frizz-prone hair too.  But what does that mean?  Swatting up on a little science here, the ceramic and negative ions blows out heat without drying out hair and leaves a silky like texture.

There are three different heat settings but what surprised me the most is the medium setting.  I can happily dry my hair on a medium heat, yes medium, with no frizz and in a reasonably quick time too.  Something that hadn’t been possible before, which means less heat on my hair!

The highest heat setting is quite hot though, hotter than most other hairdryers I’ve tried.   So I usually reserve this for when I want my hair extra smooth.  (Although I’m making more excuses to turn the heat on full whack recently…)

Products I’m Using

Best_Anti_Frizz_Hair_Products

Of course, the silky like feeling after just blow drying my hair is helped with additional products.  I try to avoid sulphates and silicones in my hair care, as this can exacerbate frizz (as explained in my video here – my first YouTube video!)

I’d read that the Aveda Damage Control spray was a good heat defence that doesn’t contain any silicones.  The John Frieda Anti-Frizz primer was also a surprise for me, this is a brand I usually avoid because it’s hell for my dry scalp.  (Not to mention my frizz prone hair!)  I received it in a Birchbox last year and checked the ingredients list.  There are no silicones and I’ve been using it ever since.

I Love Parlux

Having my Parlux hairdryer for over a year now, it’s become so much of a necessity for me I’ve begun to consider taking it on holidays with me.  Even to the hotel rooms that already include a hairdryer.

Ranging between £70-£80, I would have considered this pricey for a hairdryer a long time ago.  But having it now and seeing the difference it makes, it’s worth every penny.

Parlux_hairdryer

This blog post and video has NOT been sponsored, it’s not an AD and I’ve not been paid in anyway – honestly, I just love my Parlux.

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I’ve changed my domain name… (again)

Change of Domain

There’s been a small change around here recently; I’ve changed my domain name… (again).

Before I explain the reasons why I decided to change it, here’s a bit of a back story.  I actually started blogging when I was in university, to practice my writing as a budding and young Journalism student.  * starry eyes * It wasn’t until after university I started to really discover blogs, and later vlogging.

A few years later I fell in love with blogs (particularly beauty and lifestyle blogs…) and soon I was bursting with ideas and a need to write my own.  So I pushed all of my inspiration and energy into a total of four blogs, each to cover my separate interests.  (They couldn’t possibly all fit under one blog! I thought…)

After a few years though, I noticed I was finding it impossible to keep up with them all on a regular basis.  So I took a step back and created this blog, this would hopefully bring in all my interests, in one place and under one blog.  But the name?  Well surely my own name would be best, no?

Except it didn’t feel quite the right fit.  I have a typically British name and granted I’m a typically British girl, but I felt it wasn’t giving the right impression of my blog and it’s content.  My content felt trapped and limited under the blog name I’d chosen, and so it was time for another rethink.

So, I’ve gone back to the start.  When I wrote for the very first blog I created I didn’t feel trapped, I felt like I could write about any experience, review or interest.  It had a name I felt conveyed me, my life and my personal experiences, whatever they may be.  So yup you guessed it, that blog was called I am Small but the World is Big and this is what I’ve changed my domain to.

I hope you like it.

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Birchbox UK – May 2017

Birchbox UK May 2017 unboxing

The sad news is my Birchbox UK May 2017 box was late, just like April’s.  The good news is there were two full size items inside!  So I didn’t feel too disappointed.

As my box was late the design wasn’t a surprise to me, thanks to it being plastered all over my Instagram feed.  But luckily most of the samples remained a mystery…

Birchbox UK May 2017 👇🏻

This month’s theme is ‘it’s all in the details‘ and this month Birchbox say they want to zoom into on all the small things in subscriber’s lives. Meaning they want to make little tweaks to our beauty regimes that’ll improve our everyday overall.

That’s not the only tweak Birchbox have made, they’ve actually made a fairly big change to their service; a newly launched loyalty programme!  But first, the samples…

Samples

Birchbox UK May 2017 review

Birchbox UK May 2017 had a little to live up to compared to last months box.  Although I knew already one full size item I’d be receiving, I wasn’t expecting a second!  Find out below what I received and click on the links to find out more details:

Marsh Mineral Eyeshadow in Vanilla Frosting (FULL SIZE!)
Whish Firming Body Cream
Kueshi Hair Mask Shine & Volume
Doucce Punk Volumizer Mascara
SKIN79 Clean-on 2 Step Nose Pack (FULL SIZE!)

Now for my own little detail with what I thought of the products!  I opted for the Vanilla Frosting colour for the Marsk Mineral Eyeshadow because I already had enough grey/black smokey eyeshadows and eyeshadow sticks.  Plus it’s a great addition for crazy festival make up!

The Marsk eyeshadow also linked up nicely with the mascara.  Doucce are not a brand I know, but I LOVE the fact they’ve described their mascara as punk!

The Whish body cream and Kueshi will be used as usual and might not bring any major revelations to my routine.  However the SKIN79 2 step nose pack looks a lot of fun to me!  I can’t wait to try it.

Hello Birchbox Benefits!

Birchbox UK May 2017 what's inside

I’ve been a Birchbox subscriber now for around three years (I know, three years!) and it was great to hear I was finally going to be rewarded.  Birchbox Benefits is a new loyalty programme that rewards subscribers who’ve been with Birchbox for six months or more!

We get much of the same benefits as all subscribers, such as choosing a product or your box design every month and free delivery when we review our boxes.  But we have these two added little extras too:

  • First Chance to choose our product or box design.
  • 15% off everything in the Birchbox Shop.

Personally, I’m really pleased to see this introduced.  I’m already a big fan of the ASOS points scheme, now if only TopShop would follow suit…

Conclusion

The two full size items in my Birchbox UK May 2017 box add up to an impressive £17,39, more than the total of my box!  It’s hard not to be happy when that happens.

Currently there are absolutely no teasers, clues or hints on what we might have in store for next month’s Birchbox.  Although here’s hoping it’ll arrive on time for me at least!

Want to subscribe? Get £5 worth of Birchbox points to spend when you do – click here!

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I have not been paid by, sponsored by or asked by Birchbox to make this blog post or video in any way – I just do it for the love!

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New Purchases Show & Tell – April 2017

New Purchases Show & Tell April 2017

Forgive me for the following click baity sentence to open this post, but, I think I’ve bought THE BEST purchase I’ve made so far this year!

It’s another purchase getting me excited and ready for summer!  (Although I know that statement is a little premature; it’s freezing right now in England.)

Instead of relying on the weather though, because there’s no guarantee of clear blue skies even in June (oops there’s a clue!), it’s more the memory and smiles it’ll leave behind that I’m most looking forward to…

I can’t contain it much longer, watch my video or read below to find out!

New Purchases Show & Tell April 2017

Don’t worry, I haven’t saved the BEST to last.

Glastonbury Festival 2017 tickets! – 13 seconds in
THIS is the purchase I’m talking about!  When tickets first went on sale last October and myself and my friends unfortunately lucked out, I started to worry this might actually be the year we don’t make it to Glastonbury.  But with a lot of determination (and tapping the refresh button to an inch of its life!) we gave it another shot in the resale and GOT THEM!  I am SO excited, Glastonbury related content may be on the agenda in the next few weeks…

GHD Curve Soft Curl Tong – 1:07 minutes in
I’m also really excited about this purchase.  I’ve been wanting to create that Pinterest worthy hair for a long time and the cheap curling tongs I already had just weren’t cutting it.  Based on the success of my GHD straighteners (that are still going strong after 7 years…) I splashed out on one of the brand’s curling tongs.  So far, so good.  Watch this space for hair tutorials and my full review!

TOPSHOP Petite Embroidered Body – 2:04 minutes in
Looking at this yes I know I may be betting on a good summer, but I couldn’t let this slip away to the dreaded ‘out of stock’ status while I sat around waiting for sunshine.  I’m glad I whipped it up when I did too, as it’s no longer available in TopShop’s Petite range.  When the suns does eventually come out, I’ll happily be pairing this with my Ray-Ban’s. 

New Purchases Show & Tell April 2017 flat lay

Clarins Paris Everlasting Foundation – 2:41 minutes in
I hit empty on my last foundation, on the day of a friend’s wedding no less! A dire situation indeed, so I hurried to the nearest beauty counter I could to replace it.  This is my first ever full coverage foundation, which I’ve avoided until now.  I guess I was a bit scared of it looking weird on me, a bit caked on like a china doll?  I don’t go full air hostess mode but I’m starting to come round to a full coverage look.

Freedom Finer Ring Set – 3:28 minutes in
I really thought I’d seen this before, with the amount of times I snoop around TopShop.  But nope, this must have slipped my usual reconnaissance!  I love jewellery that’s more delicate and dainty so I had to buy these when I saw them.  I’ll also be keeping a check at the Freedom stand for other finer jewellery.

The People v O.J. Simpson – 3:55 minutes in
I can’t get my mind off this case.  I heard this was a great series to watch and boy has it sucked me in!  I’ve even got myself and my boyfriend watching the mammoth documentary series O.J.: Made in America – seriously, we’re hooked.  Going back to the People v O.J. Simpson on Netflix though, there’s a brilliant A-list cast who act out this unbelievable story. It’s incredible!

Next month… ⛺️

As you can probably guess, there’ll be a few Glastonbury bits to add to my list.  Like one of the essentials for Glastonbury is of course a sturdy pair of wellies!  Mine have seen the last two Glastonbury’s, along with other festivals before that and so it might be time to buy a newer pair.  (Should I go Hunter’s?  Leave your comments or suggestions below!)

I have not been asked, sponsored or paid to review any of these products. I just like to shop!

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Eve Lom Cleanser Review

Eve Lom Cleanser Review

You might have read in my New Purchases Show & Tell January 2017 I treated myself to probably the most luxurious skincare product I now own.

At first I was scared to use the Eve Lom Cleanser, like I’d avoid wearing something expensive for the fear of breaking it.  (Okay so I might wear it anyway, but my point’s there!)

However, after nearly five months of use, I think I’m ready to hand down my Eve Lom Cleanser review.  The most expensive cleanser I have ever tried.  So here it goes…

Eve Lom Cleanser Review

Eve Lom Cleanser Review

Why is Eve Lom Cleanser so good?  Let’s start with why I felt compelled to buy it.  When Eve Lom launched at Birchbox.co.uk I knew I’d heard the name somewhere before, but where?  A few minutes later I’d read that Vogue named it “possibly the best cleanser in the world” and that was 25 years ago.  Today it remains the brand’s best seller!

Okay so I really got sucked into the praise from Vogue, I also had some Birchbox points to spend and so I went for it!  This is a good enough excuse, right?

First Impressions

Remember I said I was scared to use the Eve Lom Cleanser at first, because it’s so damn expensive?  Well, the time to finally open this little pricy pot came on my birthday, of all days.  I’d emptied my other cleanser, so I took a deep breath and scooped the appropriate amount out.

It felt initially like a creamy, yet tough-like balm (proper scientific description) to then magically transform into a smooth velvety oil, once warmed and massaged onto my skin.  My fingers glided across at such a pleasurably pace, I became so lost in the moment I continued to massage my face for a further couple of minutes.  This is definitely the most luxurious feeling skincare product I have ever smothered across my tiny boat race!

Eve Lom Cleanser Review

7 Step Routine

There’s a 7 step routine?!  Oh yes there is, I did say it was luxurious, indulgent even (a word used to describe it from Eve Lom themself!).  I couldn’t just wash and go with a product like this, so here’s what I had to learn to do every evening.  You’ll be pleased to know I’ve shortened the amount of steps:

  • Step 1: Apply the cleanser to my entire face and neck.  I’m also supposed to apply deep pressure to behind my ears with my fingertips, but I haven’t been doing this.
  • Step 2: Apply pressure again with my fingertips to my forehead, under eye area, jaw line, upper lip, corners of mouth and under cheekbones.  There’s a whole process to this with how long to hold for and how many times repeat.  Again, I’ve not been doing this every time.  I don’t get time.
  • Step 3:  Soak muslin cloth (key piece and also included!) in hot water and wring out.  I hold the muslin cloth over my entire face for 5 seconds.  The heat softens my skin and is supposed to activate essential oils – so I make sure the water is quite hot.  I repeat this 2 more times.

Conclusion

I really have not tried any other cleanser like this one.  I never imagined how luxurious it could feel to simply cleanse!  But enough on how it actually feels, does it do any good?  I’ve got to say, my skin feels soft after I’ve followed this somewhat elaborate way to remove my make up.  Although I do still apply serum and oil before going to bed.

Despite the fact I’ve skipped a lot of the massaging trickery, I’ve found holding a hot muslin cloth over my face and repeating this action has really been beneficial to my skin.  I still get blemishes, but they’re softer and not as sore as before.  In a gross way they’re easier to pop if I cave into temptation!  Yet, I tend to leave them unpopped as they’ll be removed the next time I cleanse.

I’m impressed, I can see why the Eve Lom Cleanser is so special.  Whilst I’ll be sad when I’ll begin to scrape the bottom of the tub; at £55 a pop, I’ll have to wait until I win the lottery to allow this to become one of my beauty regime staples.

Now my fear to not to use this product isn’t down to how much it cost, I don’t want to use this product now because of the realissation it will go, go and be gone.

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Birchbox UK – April 2017

Birchbox UK April 2017 Boden Collaboration

Birchbox UK April 2017 has landed and the air already feels a bit warmer and the sun brighter.  As soon as I read Birchbox UK were collaborating with Boden for their April 2017 box I was super excited!

Despite never being a Boden customer (although I’ve wanted to, I need more cash please!), I thought this is a dream pairing.  Watch my Birchbox UK April 2017 unboxing video below:

Birchbox UK April 2017 👇🏻

This month’s theme is ‘The Bold and the Beautiful‘ and just look how much LIFE this print brings to my blog!  I’ve mentioned Birchbox teamed up with Boden this month, so it’s no real surprise Boden are behind the gorgeous floral design.

This same design will be one of Boden’s key prints for the upcoming season, which I think is a fantastic idea!  Although it might be a bit too bold for me, thoughts?

Samples

Birchbox UK April 2017 samples

I thought Birchbox and Boden are a dream pairing enough, until I discovered the fantastic samples packed inside!  Below are the samples I received (2 of which are FULL SIZE!), click on the links to find out more details:

Nib + Fab Colour Correcting Concealer (FULL SIZE!)
Polaar IcePure Gentle Scrub with Arctic Cotton
Baija Paris Crème Moana in Fleur de Tiarè
PARLOR by Jeff Chastain Volumizing Lifting Spray
Manna Kadar Cosmetics High Definition Power (FULL SIZE!)

Oh my goodness me!  (Something I kept saying in the video…)  After being left a little disappointed after last month’s box, Birchbox UK April 2017 box has definitely pulled it all back!

I’m really pleased to receive the Nip + Fab Colour Correcting Concealer.  I’ve never used a colour corrector before or any product from this brand.

I’m also happy to receive my choice of Manna Kadar product.  I opted for the High Definition setting powder, over the bronze/highlight duo.  Mostly because I am so intrigued by this product because I’ve never tried any form of high definition make-up!  Unfortunately I couldn’t try this on in the video, so please comment below if you’re after an individual review.

Added Little Extras…

Birchbox UK April 2017 Boden Collaboration

Being a lucky Birchbox UK subscriber I was offered a few added extras – bare with me, there’s quite a few!

First up, before the box even arrived I was offered the chance to buy a discounted Boden branded cardholder.  When big brands team up with Birchbox I tend to take them up on these offers.  This time I got my hands on the above cardholder for £8, down from £15.

As you can see, another extra for me is being treated to £10 off a Boden shop!  Oh, I will be using this, there’s no question about it.

Finally, I’m yet to enter the monthly competition and it’s a good’un this month.  If I snap a picture of my Birchbox on Instagram (and ensure I tag and hashtag all the right handles…), then I could win a £200 Boden voucher and £200 worth of beauty essentials from the Birchbox shop.  Hell yeah, that’s a good comp!

Conclusion 🌼

WELL if you can’t tell I’m back on the Birchbox train and flying a flag of subscriber pride this month.  I think this box has been a HUGE success, ticking off every box for design, samples and collaborator.

I’m not usually fussed over the added extras, but this month Birchbox and Boden have really gone all out.  I appreciate that, long may it continue!

Subscribe to Birchbox and get £5 worth of Birchbox points to spend – click here!

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I have not been paid by, sponsored by or asked by Birchbox to make this blog post or video in any way – I just do it for the love!

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Imperial Candles Review

Imperial Candles Chocolate Orange Review

In my Mother’s Day gift ideas post I promised an Imperial Candles review, et voila!  Just a bit of a back story to begin with; I’m not very into candles, which is why I gifted this to my mum, who is!

Imperial Candles are hand poured in the UK, but aren’t your typical smelly candle (explanation incoming).  Being a surprise candle, there’s an extra little something in the form of a jewellery gift, contained inside.

This was a completely new concept to me (like I said, candle novice) and considering the jewellery surprise can range anywhere between £10 and £2,000, I thought it would make a great gift idea!  (Happy Mother’s Day mum.)

Imperial Candles Review

Imperial Candles Review

I was sent the Chocolate Orange scented candle, which I initially imagined to bask our home in sweet yet exotic scents of a faraway chocolate orange land.  Sadly, this wasn’t necessarily the case. I mistook the scent for my brother’s e-cigarette before noticing a little glow by the fireplace!

Chocolate Orange wouldn’t be a scent I’d choose personally, so I don’t want to dwell on this too much; it just wasn’t to my taste.  Nor my mum’s, however we both agreed it was strongly scented!

There’s two wicks inside and it took a few afternoons to get down to the jewellery, which was a fair while.  In total an Imperial Candle has 120 hours worth of burn time, which, to a candle beginner like me, sounds like forever!

Imperial Candles Jewellery

Imperial Candles Review earrings

I chose earrings, as I know my mum wears this type of jewellery the most.  But if you want a lucky dip option to leave this as a complete surprise, then this is also an option!  (The choices are earrings, a ring or a necklace – you can also choose your ring size.)

The thought occurred to me; candles with jewellery inside – how does that work?!  My mum’s soon-to-be new jewels were wrapped in foil to protect them from the obvious (namely flames and wax).  When we spotted foil emerging from the wax we plucked it out of the candle like hidden treasure and pealed away the protective casing.  I’ve got to say, this bit was quite exciting!

The result was the pictured above and below circular earrings, encrusted with jewels that centre a mauve/purple stone.  Quite to my mum’s taste!

Imperial Candles earrings

Imperial Candles earrings

A little tag will tell you the value of your jewellery and if you’ve hit the jackpot!  My mum’s earrings came in at £20, so we weren’t so lucky in hitting the top value, nevertheless my mum was still pleased with her new pair of earrings.

Conclusion 🔥

It’s a shame I wasn’t a fan of the scent, however I didn’t want this to affect my Imperial Candles review.  Judging by the strength of the scent itself, it was noticeable to me just by walking in from work.

For that reason, I’m intrigued to reach out and try another scented candle from Imperial Candles in the future.  In particular Pure Cotton, Mango Peach and Peony Pomegranate tempt me, so who knows, maybe I am a candle person after all.

The scent and general aroma felt like a stress release and as for a chance to add to my jewellery collection, it makes it all the more exciting.

I was sent a candle to write an Imperial Candles review.  Although this was free, all opinions expressed here are my own (and my mum’s).

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New Purchases Show & Tell – March 2017

New Purchases Show & Tell March 2017

Catch up & Watch 👇🏻

Spring has sprung, sort of, and it’s time for my New Purchases Show & Tell March 2017!  It’s around the time of year I usually start daydreaming about warmer days ahead and what I might plan for summer…

I’ve certainly done the daydreaming part, as for summer plans there is a little something I’ve planned and purchased this month.  Find out below!

New Purchases Show & Tell March 2017

If my video isn’t NSFW then no worries, I’ve written a list below about what appears in my video.

Stardew Valley – 18 seconds in
I had no other option but to talk about this game first – as if my video thumbnail isn’t obvious enough!  I downloaded my first ever game from Steam, which is very exciting!  Way back on Playstation 1 and 2 I loved the Harvest Moon games and I miss them sorely.  So a work friend recommended me Stardew Valley, a game that’s apparently better than them both!  I know, quite a statement.  I’m enjoying it so far though and it was only £10!  Downloadable for both Mac and PC.

Gorillaz / Demon Dayz Festival tickets – 1:41 minutes in
Okay, this is what I was talking about in regards to making the first of my summer plans.  When I first heard news of this gig I had to get my hands on tickets.  Margate is just a stones throw away for me so how could I not go to the town’s, or even the county’s, biggest gig of the YEAR?!  It’s going to be awesome and I’ll try my best to vlog it.

TopShop PETITE Bow Back Body – 2:40 minutes in
…and the remaining New Purchases Show & Tell items don’t seem quite as exciting after that!  This top was another bargain winner for me, I tried it on in Oxford Street’s TopShop and wasn’t convinced to spend £24 on it.  I then saw it in the sale not too long after and whipped it up.  All I need now is some matching ballerina-like pumps!

New Purchases Show & Tell March 2017 two jumpers white background flat lay

Zara Floral Lace Top (not exact name) – 3:06 minutes in
The same day I luckily got the chance to stroll around Oxford Street I’d ventured into Zara too, which seems like a shop I haven’t been into for a long time.  I spotted this on the Last Chance to Buy rail and thought it looked too pretty to miss.  I think it’s definitely versatile as a ‘nice top’ for festival season and the boho trend.

H&M Basics Jumper (again not exact name) – 3:37 minutes in
Lately the weather has been quite sunny, so I feel a bit silly showing this to you.  But, at the time of purchase it was rainy and summer, or spring even, still felt a long while off.  Big chunky and cosy jumpers are probably the clothing item I wear the most, so buying one more can’t hurt right?

Next month… 🌈

New Purchases Show & Tell March 2017 owl teddy and macbook pro with stardew valley

In last month’s New Purchases Show & Tell I did set out to buy some Nars make up.  As you can see that didn’t happen, so it’s now moved over to this month’s list instead.

I also mentioned that I was tempted by a GHD curling tong, as I’m growing my hair longer I really want to master the art of waves.  I do have my own curling tongs already but they just don’t seem to cut it (and GHD have never let me down).

Hopefully next month I would have made a few more summer plans too.  Only time will tell!

I have not been asked, sponsored or paid to review any of these products. I just like to shop!

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My Reading Challenege 2017: 3-month update!

My Reading Challenge 2017

As we’re slowly sweeping into spring, I thought it was about time I give an update on my Reading Challenge 2017.

Just to give you a bit of background; last year was my first reading challenge ever!  (You can see how it went here.)  This year I set myself the goal of reading 25 books for my Reading Challenge 2017.   I thought instead of lumping you with a mammoth blog post at the end of the year, I’ve decided to divide it into four 3 month bitesize updates.

I hope this helps to give some inspiration to your next book purchase and add to your reading challenge 2017!  Let me know if it does…

My Reading Challenge 2017 (so far…) 📖

1. In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom by Yeonmi Park
This is an interesting read and one that divides reviews on Goodreads.  Yeonmi is a North Korean defector, who lived in the northern part of the country before she was trafficked into China.  Her journey is incredible, heartbreaking and unbelievable.  This is the part that is, of course, irrefutable.  The question whether she’s told the whole truth divides me (and others).  I can’t help but think there might be some deliberate haziness in places.  Regardless, an eye-opening read into North Korean life.

2.  Pretty Iconic: A Personal Look at the Beauty Products that Changed the World by Sali Hughes
I hope it’s not too inappropriate to go from North Korea to this.  I love Sali!  I’ve been following her since she started writing for the Guardian and I was lucky enough to get this signed by the lady herself at Stylist Live.  A lovely read, as usual, about outstanding beauty products interwoven around her life stories.  My only criticism is that a few descriptions were repeated within the book, but other than that; flawless.

3.  The Profession of Violence: The Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins by John George Pearson
Wow.  What an explosive biography.  As if the Krays need any introduction…  If east London’s most infamous set of twins has ever intrigued you then this is a must read.  John George Pearson was selected by the twins themself to write their biography, so I have no doubt everything within the two covers is credible.  I also loved how this was book was a window back in time to 50’s/60’s London.  A great read.

4.  So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson
I recently spoke about this book in my New Purchases Show & Tell series, so once again it’s slipped into another blog post of mine.  Way back when lashings and hangings were one of the first forms of public shaming, Jon explores public shaming how it is today; through social media.  The world’s gone digital and it now takes place on Twitter (and other social networks), with the potential to spread worldwide.  It’ll make you think twice before sending your next tweet!

5.  Norweigan Wood by Haruki Murakami
This was one of my Christmas presents from my sister and what a story to start for my first Murakami novel. The Beatles’ song Norwegian Wood takes main character Toru Watanabe back to when he first started university and memories of his first love Naoko.  Naoko was the girlfriend of his best friend, before he killed himself.  It’s hard to pinpoint what makes this book so special exactly, as it’s somewhat of a sad story that lingered after I read it.  Delicate, upsetting but quite enriching.

6.  Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Don’t judge me, this book is widely praised for being beautifully written and it is, it really is.  Why else would anyone read a book from the perspective of a man who’s in love with a 12 year old girl?  (I know, I know…)  The language is exhilarating, heady to read, like smelling a strong perfume – and it’s all written by a non-English speaker.  The best novel I’ve read so far this year.

7. The Spy by Paulo Coelho
This wasn’t a book I was particularly looking to read, or even knew was published.  On offer in the Kindle store, I had previously read a book by Paulo Coelho a few years ago, which I thought was okay, so I went for it.  Good for me then that this was a surprisingly pleasant purchase. Written in the fictional perspective of Mata Hari, a famous dancer who was executed for espionage.  I highlighted sentences from this book for the first time ever on my Kindle because of parallel  conventions a woman like Mata faced, and still do even today.

7/25 books read ✔️

My Reading Challenge 2017

I worked out 12 divided by 25 makes 2.083 –  which means I’ll need to read 2.083 books a month to hit my goal of 25 books.  So far I think I’m on track!

There are some books out there, like the Game of Thrones series and The Count of Monte Cristo, that are still on my to-read list.  However, being such big books, I don’t want to slow up my progress just yet.  I may have to reserve these until the end of the year…

I do want to get back to some authors I love and haven’t read in a while though, particularly Ian McEwan!  So you might see less spontaneous Kindle bargains in the next update. That’s if I don’t cave into temptation of diving back into the Game of Thrones saga first…

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Which books have you been reading lately?  Leave me any of your recommendations below!

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All front cover images on this post are embedded from Goodreads.com, if there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and you do not wish for it appear on this site, please contact me and it will be promptly removed.

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3 Simple Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

We all know Mother’s Day is all about sharing the love with your mama!  The idea struck me to write/film a Mother’s Day gift ideas post/video around the same time I was contacted by Imperial Candles.

Originally they wanted me to review one of their products – which is still on the horizon! – but, when looking over their candles I couldn’t help but feel it was a perfect Mother’s Day gift idea instead.

Et voila, the idea came to be!  A post and accompanying video about the best Mother’s Day gift ideas (from yours truly)!

3 Simple yet Cute Mother’s Day Gift Ideas 🌷

1. Flowers

The beauty of Mother’s Day being in March (or a little later for the rest of the world) is down to so many flowers beginning to bloom.  To me, it is literally the best time to buy flowers – especially tulips, as they tend to bloom quite early in the year anyway.

I find Marks & Spencers, whilst not particularly great at anything other than food and undies, sell a nice bunch of flowers.  They even offer dedicated arrangements for Mother’s day gift ideas and not anyone else!

2.  Restaurant Voucher

Myself and my family usually celebrate Mother’s Day by taking my mum (and sometimes my nan too!) out for a nice lunch somewhere.  Although, I know that’s not always possible with people living away from each other, or not having much spare time etc.

Restaurant vouchers are perfect if this is the case!  I actually bought this for someone as a Christmas present and the price wasn’t too out of hand either.  Now you only have to hope she’ll take you!

3.  Imperial Candle

Simple Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Okay this is where Imperial Candles come in.  Scented candles make a great gift anyway, we’ve all seen the surge in Yankee candles sales worldwide.  Well Imperial Candles, that are handmade in England and vegan friendly, have put a spin on the traditional candle.

Inside each Imperial Candle there’s a piece of jewellery hidden, with a jewel worth anywhere between £10 to £2,000!  That piece of jewellery – either a ring, a pair of earrings or necklace (you can choose which one, or leave it as a complete surprise) – is protected by a foil package.

No, I haven’t given this to my mum yet and so I don’t know how much her jewel is worth from her candle.  I will of course write a follow-up blog post when she gets down to it though!

I have not been paid or sponsored to make this post – Imperial Candles did however send me a candle to review and give my honest opinion to my subscribers (coming soon).  Just to clear things up!  

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