Thursday, 19 October 2017

Birchbox Unboxing & Review - October 2017...

It's time for my usual monthly Birchbox unboxing and review! I received my October box about 2 weeks ago now but I just had too many other posts to get up before this. I mentioned in the September unboxing that even though I was quite a new subscriber I was already thinking about ending it and maybe trying a new box because I felt so mixed about the products I'd received. I just wanted the October box to surprise me and convince me to stay.
First of all, as with the previous two boxes I've received, the box has such a gorgeous design. So bright, colourful and quirky and yet another box I can use in the spare room to store lots of little bits. I think this along with the others will look quite pretty stacked up. This month Birchbox have teamed up with the breast cancer charity, Coppafeel, hoping to raise awareness which is of course brilliant. Coppafeel is a charity I've known about for a while, I watched a documentary a few years ago about Kris, the founder, and her story and it's stuck with me ever since, so I'm really glad these two have collaborated and hopefully more people are finding out about them.

Now onto the products. The first product I received was a mascara from the brand ModelCo. A few weeks ago all subscribers were given a choice between either this or a contour stick, and I just didn't need another product for my face, but I feel like you can never have too many mascaras! It looks like just a basic mascara, really simple packaging but I'm looking forward to seeing what it's like. The next product I received was a shower gel from Anatomicals, a brand I've raved about a few times before on my blog. I like having a stash of shower gels ready to use so this has been added to the bathroom cabinet, it's another product I don't think you can have too many of so this was quite a nice addition. It has a melon scent which wouldn't usually be my first choice but it's actually really nice and very refreshing.
The next three things are the ones that have kind of got me feeling all mixed about the box again. I got the Balance Me Pure Skin Face Wash, which I've actually heard a few good things about, and I'm looking forward to trying, but it is just another face wash so not extremely exciting. Their was also a product from Nuxe, a lightweight moisturiser, again I'm sure it will be good to use but for now it's probably just going to stay in the box. Nuxe are quite a big brand and another one I've heard really good things about but to be honest I had no idea what this even was when I saw it! Lastly, there was a dry shampoo paste from R+Co Badlands. I've never tried anything like this before, in fact I very rarely even use normal dry shampoo so it's something else I'm not sure how much use I'll get out of it.
I'm so torn with what to do, whether to carry on until the end of the year or to just end it now. I loved my first box (August), my second one was a bit disappointing and this one I'm just not sure about. I think because I've heard mixed things from other people too, that's kind of making me form a negative opinion on it. Quite a few people have mentioned dry shampoos and face creams are a regular most months but I just don't need more! I've also seen a few things other people received including a product from ThisWorks and EcoTools, so if I'd had something from those, I think I'd be really impressed. I suppose, that's the whole point of these though, you don't know what you're going to get. I was tempted to cancel and maybe subscribe again in time for a Christmas box but there is literally only one box left before that so I feel like if I'm going to do that I might aswell carry on. Anyway, I'm just rambling now, I have no idea yet if I'll be carrying on with it or not, I might have to try and see if there are any other good boxes out there instead, but let me know what you think!

I'm going to give some of these a go and if I like them, I'm sure they'll be in a favourites post or something similar at some point! What do you think to the products included?

If you want to to sign up to Birchbox, don't forget to use my referall link here to get £5 off your first box!

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Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Jim Chapman 147 Things Book Review*

Jim Chapman is someone I've been watching on Youtube for years now so I was thrilled when I was picked to review his brand new book, 147 Things. In his own words, this is his 'users guide to the universe' and it's about a huge variety of things that he has either thought about or questioned in the past, from first times, to sleep talking, to the universe, to heartbreak and so much more. Anything you could have ever possibly wondered or imagined, Jim has written about it, dissected it and explained it in as much detail as possible.
I'm not going to lie when Jim first announced he was bringing out a book, I was sort of like 'oh okay another youtuber book' because so many of them have brought them out recently but it was clear from this beginning this was going to be different, and I've found it extremely interesting to read! It's a book which could be read by a young teenager, or read by someone my age (22) and even older, it doesn't stand out as a particuarly young book, it's for everyone. The book starts with an introduction into who Jim is, what he does and why he wanted to write this book, if you don't know who he is, he's a very successful youtuber who has now branched out in modelling, presenting and more. There are then 10 section to the book, each with a number of 'things' within them. 
Almost straight away I was hooked by this book. I think because I have watched Jim on Youtube for so long it was almost like a friend talking to me, in my head I was reading everything in his voice, instantly it was an enjoyable read and I found each section was just as interesting as the one before it. Starting off Jim explains just how lucky we are to actually exist which I think was a really nice way to start. Often we become so wrapped up in ourselves and our troubles that we don't really stop to think about what we DO have, and how lucky we are to even be here. We are part of something so huge and there is so much we still don't know, and I think it's important to realise that sometimes as really all of this could be taken away at any point.
After a bit of a deep start to the book, I then found myself laughing at the story of how Jim experiemented with waxing once and it all went a little bit wrong! That just shows how many different things are spoken about in this book, one minute we are reading about the earth and how we can look after it, and the next we are reading about waxing down there and how it doesn't always go to plan. It's just so varied and you never quite know what's coming next! One thing I did love about this book is that Jim actually got quite personal at times and wrote about things he's never told us about before, for example the fact he's not had a relationship with his father for 22 years. He uses that story to explain how it's actually shaped him as a person and how it's made him become so much closer to the family members he does have. I think with Youtubers it can be easy to think they all have their lives together and everything is perfect but this showed that actually behind the camera other things do happen that we know nothing about. Following on from that he then dedicated a 'thing' to his late stepdad, which was a part I actually found really emotional. He wrote that part the day after he passed away ealier this year and you can almost feel the emotion coming from the page, he said such lovely things about him and expressed the importance of living life to the full for those that aren't here anymore and making as many memories as possible.
I think one of my favourite 'things' from the whole book was Things 16, so quite near the start of the book, which was all about sleeptalking and some of the conversations he's had with his wife in the past. I had a good giggle reading this bit as I know I've spoken in my sleep before and George has written them down and read them out to me the next day, and they have always been so strange! Another part I loved in the book I've actually taken a picture of and included below, because I just felt it was so relevant to me. It also comforted me a bit and reassured me that actually the people that have spoken bad about me before or called me names, or whatever it is, THEY are the bad ones, don't waste any time or effort on people like that, focus on the ones who care. I struggle with coming to terms with things sometimes and I feel like that actually made me feel so much better about certain situations.
I feel that the mix of humerous things along with more personal, sometimes sad things is what makes this book great. One minute you are laughing, one minute you're nodding you're head in agreement, and one minute you're welling up! I felt a mixture of emotions reading this and just thoroughly enjoyed it. If this makes any sense, the book made me feel a bit more understood, like I wasn't the only one who feels a certain way sometimes, and I'm not the only one to think of some bizarre fact that no one else quite gets. For someone who's mind doesn't ever really stop, this book was just perfect. I've not properly read before this book for such a long time, but it's almost made me fall in love again with reading (deep I know) and now I can't wait to get started on something else. I've not read a book this quickly in so long and couldn't recommend it enough. If you were unsure before about this, buy it! I really do think it's a book everyone will enjoy, and out just in time for Christmas!

147 Things is available to buy from Amazon for £10.99. Jim has also recorded an audio book of 147 Things which is available here and also features a Q&A! You can also find Jim Chapman on Youtube here, subscribe for a whole range of videos.

Are you a fan of any youtubers? Do you think you'll be buying this book?

*Book sent for the purpose of this review. I only work with people I feel are relevant to me and my blog

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Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Bomb Cosmetics Pink Elephants & Lemonade Bath Blaster Review...

I'm sure regular readers of my blog will know of my love for bath bombs. I post reviews quite a lot and when I saw this adorable one in a shop in Leeds recently, I knew not only did I need to buy it, I needed to blog about it. Just look at it! 
There is a shop called The Yorkshire Soap Company in Leeds which sells the cutest bath products, ranging from soaps which look like cake slices to mini bath bombs to candles and so many beautiful bath bombs like the one above. I was in actual heaven in that shop, and it took me such a long time to choose one but I finally did and I went for the one called Pink Elephants and Lemonade. Not only did it look just so cute, but it also had such a lovely sweet scent, and I had a feeling it would be perfect for a little pamper night.

I got round to using this a few weeks ago and I almost instantly wanted to write this review! The only brand I tend to go to when shopping for bath bombs is Lush and I really do have my favourites so I was really intrigued in how this would compare and if it would be better or worse than theirs. I have to say this is the best bath bomb I've used in a long time. As I've already said, the bath bomb itself is just beautiful, and the scent which is so fruity and sweet is amazing. It's a lemonade scent with plum berry combined with litsea cubeba and mandarin essentials oils so together those things just make the whole bathroom smell so nice! When I placed this in the water, instantly it started fizzing away and compared the disappointment of the last bomb I reviewed, it was so fun to watch. This wasn't a bath bomb that had loads of colours coming out of it or anything, but the colour got darker and darker and eventually the water was a deep, hot pink and looked so inviting. It was quite like the Sex Bomb Bath Bomb which is one of my favourites, just as impressive! As with most bath bombs, this left my skin feeling really soft and nourished. It contains cocoa and shea butter so that made my skin feel so lovely and afterwards I really did feel like I'd had a proper pamper. That day we had been out for quite a while and my legs and feet were so sore but this bath proper sorted me out and relaxed me. It was amazing.
I already want to get more Bomb Cosmetics products! This is technically called a bath blaster but it's the same as a bath bomb and they have such a wide range to choose from on their website. One thing I really love is the price. These vary from about £2.99 to around £3.50 which compared to some bath bombs I've had for almost £5, is incredible. I had such a nice experience with this and have already added some to my Christmas wishlist as they really are worth the money and I felt I got a lot for it. I couldn't recommend this enough, let me know if you've tried any from Bomb Cosmetics and what I should try next!

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Monday, 16 October 2017

Christmas At La Sala Chigwell*

Now we're well into October I feel it's acceptable to start talking more and more about Christmas, because it is fast approaching! I genuinely can't believe how fast the past 10 months have gone and already I'm worrying I'm not prepared enough for Christmas, the weeks are just going so quickly at the moment and I feel like I still have so much to do and so much to buy! Because this year is flying by, it's important to get any plans for Christmas Day sorted soon. If you're someone who likes to go out for Christmas Dinner and doesn't like the hassle of all the washing up afterwards (the worst bit) then maybe heading out and having it all made for you is a good option. There are so many places that offer Christmas dinner but the one I really wanted to mention today is La Sala.
The La Sala restaurant is based in Chigwell and they offer a wide range of food and dining options throughout the week. The restaurant, open 5 days a week, is renowned for it's vivacious ambiance, beautiful food and value for money. First opening in 2014 in the UK, after success in Spain, the restaurant has gone from strength to strength and it now attracts various celebrities, past clientele includes Prince Albert of Monaco, Jamie Oliver, Little Mix, Eva Longoria and many more. The La Sala concept offers the 'ultimate social and dining experience', available day and night for all customers. You can choose from a varied menu which has a range of international and spanish dishes, all made from the highest quality ingredients, all while listening to live music each evening, sipping on champagne. This year, whether you want a memorable Christmas dinner with family, an unforgettable New Year or you want a place for your work Christmas party, La Sala have you covered. Everything you need can be found at their beautiful venues, carefully selected menus including food everyone will love, live entertainment and incredible service from the staff. Some of the food on offer for all three things I've mentioned below, so you can get a little taste of what is available.
Christmas Day Menu - £75pp

Choose from Cauliflower Soup, Game Terrine, Caramelised Shallot & Chestnut Tart & More

Main Course -
Roast Turkey Breast, Bacon rolled Sausage and Sage Stuffing, Roast Potatoes, Festive Trimmings, Parsnip Puree, Parsnip Crisps

Nut Roast, Roast Potatoes,Cranberry Sauce, Festive Trimmings, Parsnip Puree, Parsnip Crisps

Halibut Fillet, Black Truffle Dauphinoise and Wild Mushroom Sauce
Beef Fillet, Beef Cheek Croquette, Caramelised Baby Onions

Desserts - 
Choose from Christmas Pudding, Dark Chocolate & Hazelnut Tart, Cheeseboard & More

New Years Eve Menu - £90pp (Champagne and canapes available for the table)

Starters -
Choose from Jerusalem Artichoke Soup, Smoked Duck Breast, Gin Cured Salmon & More

Main Course - 
Chateaubriand for Two, served with Hand Cut Chips, Onion Rings, Grilled Tomato & Portobello Mushroom
Pan fried Halibut, Poached Lobster
Cauliflower Steak, Curried Cauliflower Cheese Croquets
Pork Belly and Loin

Desserts - 
Choose from White Chocolate and Pistachio Parfait, Cherry and Almond Tart, Selection of Ice Cream & Sorbets, & More
Christmas Party Menu - £35pp Tuesday to Thursday, £45pp Friday to Sunday

Starters -
Choose from Roasted Celeriac Soup, Duck Liver Parfait, Smoked Salmon & More

Main Courses - 
Roast Turkey Breast, Bacon rolled Sausage and Sage Stuffing, Roast Potatoes, Festive Trimmings, Parsnip Puree, Parsnip Crisps
Beef Short Rib, Creamed Potatoes, Braised Carrots, Red Wine Jus
Sea Bream, Lobster Bisque, Crushed New Potatoes
Curried Sweet Potato Dahl

Desserts - 
Choose from Christmas Pudding, Baileys Cheesecake, Mulled Wine Poached Pear & More
La Sala is without a doubt the place to be this Christmas. Whatever the occassion you can find a perfect meal for everyone, in a beautiful setting, for an extra special day or night. If you want to get booked in soon (which I really recommend you do) then check out their website here where you can find out more about what they have to offer this Christmas.

If you've already got plans for Christmas then why not visit mid week for a date night where you can try something from their Lobster & Burger menu, or you could go for brunch on a Saturday? Bottomless Brunch is served 12pm to 6pm and would make a perfect day with one of your best friends or sister, you could even treat someone for their birthday if you're a bit stuck on gifts! They even do Private Dining Areas if you want to splash out for an event or birthday. Whatever it is, La Sala have you covered. For any booking enquiries, contact them via 03330063008 or find them online here!

Have you ever visited La Sala before? What have you got planned for Christmas?

*Sponsored post. I only work with brands I feel are relevant to my blog

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