Lush Bath Bomb Review

I generally shower rather than take a bath – mostly due to lack of time. However, I do love a bath. So relaxing and it’s always good to take some time for yourself. And what’s better than a bath? A bath with a lovely Lush bath bomb, of course!

We recently visited the new Lush Cardiff store. There’s also a new spa there, which I really hope I get to try out in the not too distant future! For now, we picked up some bath bombs.

A groovy looking set called ‘Great Balls of Bicarb’, which included the Avobath, Blackberry, Honey Bee, Dragon’s Egg and Sex Bomb. We also picked up a Lava Lamp bath bomb seperately.

Here’s my vlog review of the Lava Lamp, Dragon’s Egg & Honey Bee:

My favourite out of these three was the Lava Lamp, followed closely by the Dragon Egg. Both had gorgeous scents and created wonderful baths. The Honey Bee smelled good but the combination of bright yellow water and brown splodges of mud did not look very appealing to step into, plus it left a yellow oily residue around the edge of the bathtub which was a real pain to clean off – not really the relaxing experience I was looking for!

I’m looking forward to trying out the bath bombs in our set and I shall probably make another vlog for them too!

What’s your favourite Lush bath bomb?

Note: I was not asked nor paid to review these bath bombs.

Family Day Out: Caerphilly Castle

The first week of the Easter Holidays brought us some lovely Spring weather. Knowing that the sunshine can disappear as quickly as it arrives, we made the most of it with a trip to Caerphilly Castle.

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Sitting right in the middle of the town of Caerphilly and surrounded by an extensive moat, the castle is partly ruins with one ominously leaning tower, although in nice weather this makes for a pleasant walk.

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Pip was thrilled to find dragons in the castle grounds!

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These sculptures were amazing, such beautiful detail. The red dragon has apparently been at the castle for a long time, while the blue was added more recently.

Signs warned us not to approach the geese that waddled about, as they’re nesting at the moment.

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We walked up a winding narrow staircase to reach the top of the castle. If I’m honest, I’m not keen on spiral staircases, particularly ones with ancient slippery steps and even less so when my daughter happily bounds up them when I’d rather she take her time. There’s no stopping little adventurers! However, I’d say the view from the top is well worth the climb.

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I would say that this is not a suitable day out for pushchairs or wheelchairs. There’d be very little you could see and even navigating the grounds could be tricky.

The price of entry was perhaps a little expensive for what’s on offer. £7.95 for adults, £5.20 for students, senior citizens and under 16s or £23.70 for a family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children). I understand that maintaining an ancient structure costs money and that’s probably reflected in the price but there wasn’t a lot to interact with. I suppose I’m comparing that with Cardiff Castle, which as Cardiff residents, we only have to pay £6 every 3 years for our Castle Keys for unlimited entries and reduced event prices.

After spending a couple of hours walking around the castle and the obligatory visit to the gift shop, we ended our day out with a drink in the visitor centre cafe.

Overall, we enjoyed this trip. It was a good learning experience and an enjoyable walk outdoors in the Spring sunshine!

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Review: Papergang Subscription Box March 2017

This month’s Papergang Box arrived at my door a couple of days ago. This is a monthly stationary box, based here in the UK. Here’s my vlog review of it:

As I said in the video, while I am happy with the box, I’m not quite as thrilled with it as I was last month. That being said, all of the items are useful for me.

Also, I mentioned in the video that there were unusually two calendars included. I contacted Ohh Deer, the company behind the Papergang box, and they got back to me very quickly to explain. Due to international customers getting their boxes a little later than us in the UK, they weren’t getting to use the calendars fully, hence a calendar being sent out a month in advance to fix this issue. I must say, both on the quick and polite reply and also on fixing a customer issue, that’s pretty good customer service!

If you’re interested in subscribing to the Papergang Box, here’s a link for you!

Hope you like the video!

Vlog post: Papergang Subscription Box Review

I vlogged!

This is a video review of the Papergang subscription box from Ohh Deer. It’s a monthly stationary subscription box. This is the first month I’ve received it and I love it already!

If you’re interested in subscribing to Papergang yourself, here’s a link for you.

I’m hoping to make vlogging a regular thing so watch this space!

Book Review: Uprooted by Naomi Novik

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In the last weeks of my university studies, one of the things I looked forward to most was being able to read purely for pleasure. So once my last course was over, I went searching through the Apple iBook store for something new. As it was a recommended title as well as a fantasy novel (one of my favourite genres), I went with Uprooted by Naomi Novik.

This book is inspired by folk and fairy tales and really has that feel to it. The scary bits (and there are a few) really feel like something out of a childhood nightmare. Novak has tapped into some primal fears and conjures up some truly horrifying images.

The protagonist is a young woman. She’s clumsy, always untidy, a bit moody and doesn’t think very much of herself. But she’s also brave and strong and she grows throughout the novel, becoming more aware of herself and her abilities as the story goes on. A brilliantly realistic heroine.

I like the realism in the characters. So often the characters in fantasy fall into stereotypes: the dashing hero, the pretty princess, the bad guy who’s nothing but bad through and through. This book doesn’t do that. The characters are flawed. Some are entirely unlikeable, even if they’re actually good guys! There is a touch of romance but it’s not a main theme. I’d say friendship and loyalty are more key here.

My favourite part of this book is the magic. It’s elegant yet natural. There’s real beauty to it (even when it’s being used for evil) and Novik’s descriptions paint a good picture of how it works and looks.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy, quest stories. It’s thoroughly enjoyable and I personally rate it pretty highly.

 

 

Top 10 Christmas Films

The festive season is upon us! One of my favourite things to do at this time of year is snuggle up on the sofa with my favourite people and a big mug of  hot chocolate and enjoy a Christmas film.

So here, in no particular order, are ten of my favourites:

  1. Muppet Christmas Carol. Dickens’ classic tale is surely one of the greatest Christmas stories ever and the only thing that could ever have really improved it was creating a Muppet version. With a lovely message about helping our fellow human beings and some extremely good songs, this film is simply brilliant. We have a tradition of watching it every Christmas Eve
  2. Die Hard. So once Muppet Christmas Carol is over and our daughter’s in bed, on goes Die Hard. Surely one of the greatest action films ever, plus bloody hilarious and ridiculously quotable.
  3. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Hilarious performances all round, with the important message that it just isn’t Christmas without your loved ones around you. Plus I can’t help but laugh my head off every time I see a shrieking Marv getting attacked by a flock of pigeons.
  4. Love Actually. Yes, it’s an over-sentimental Richard Curtis film. But I love all of the little interwoven stories. And I defy anyone not to get a little teared up at Emma Thompson’s performance. In fact, I’m almost weeping now just thinking about it. Just to note, this is also definitely not one for the kids – there’s tons of bad language and also a bit of nudity.
  5. It’s a Wonderful Life. An absolute classic tale of how worthwhile life is and the difference one man can make to so many lives. You really have to get to the end before you get that nice uplifting feeling though.
  6. The Nightmare Before Christmas. There seems to be some debate over whether this is a Christmas film or a Halloween film. I don’t bother myself with such silliness and simply watch it for both. I really love stop animation and ‘What’s this?’ is one of my favourite Christmas songs ever.
  7. The Holiday. Yes, this is another soppy one but it always makes me laugh and, I think, contains a really lovely performance from Jack Black.
  8. Elf. I was not immediately convinced on first hearing about this film. It sounded a bit cheesy and bordering on just a bit too ridiculous. But actually Will Ferrel does well in the role and it’s become a real Christmas classic.
  9. Blackadder’s A Christmas Carol. Blackadder is one of my favourite TV  series and this twist on one of my favourite Christmas stories is just brilliant.
  10. Miracle of 34th Street (1994 version). Richard Attenborough is perfect as Santa Claus and Mara Wilson is the quintessential cute small child. It’s the kind of film that induces that warm, fuzzy feeling in even the coldest hearted Scrooge.

Did I miss out your favourite? Do comment with it below!