beauty review

Glossybox Review November 2015

Not a lot of photos this month sadly, not because I haven’t used the products but more because I forgot to take them lol.



I am going to start with the negative of the box…


Royal Apothic Body Lotion

I am starting with this because really it was a let down on a few levels, firstly the size this is a 35g tube, it is full size, retailing at £14.50, if I was to use this all over my body as suggested I might get two maybe three uses out of it. My other issue is with the actual product and that is the smell, I can’t quite put mu finger on what the smell is but it is quite strong and even though I like the results I would not use it and nor would I buy it.

Next up…


Eylure Natural Lashes

This is one item I have not tried out but only because I have not really been anywhere to try them out, at £5 they are around average price for decent lashes and I have worn this brand before and they have always lasted well, though cheap lashes are great for one off or fancy dress it is worth spending money for good ones if you want to wear then on a regular basis. I am looking forward to wearing these as soon as I get the chance.



Emite Emite Diamond Heart Primer

I absolutely love this and I hate that I love it. The issue with this product is the price, to buy this costs £25.90, and as much as I love it I cannot justify that amount of money for a primer, I could not justify it for a foundation, so now way can I even think about buying this again.  If I were rich and money was no problem then I very well might change my mind but with a heavy heart I add this to the cannot afford pile.

Next up…


Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick

We actually had the option to choose the colour we received so I went for the red, partly due to the fact we have the festive season approaching but also as my daughter keeps pinching them when I get them. The colour is a lovely true red as you can see from this swatch I did…

DSC01362It is thick and creamy without being drying as some lipsticks can be, the colour lasted well during the short trial but I have yet to really put it to the test in terms of eating and drinking wearing it as well as testing removal after a longer period of wear, though to be honest I expect it will stain quite a bit.

Final product for this month…



MUA Eyeshadow Palette

When I read the price of this I did a double take, this palette retails for just £4, I expected it to be at least £15 given it contains 12 gorgeous shades. They are all glittery, shimmery shades with the exception of one of the browns and although it says it is a chocolate palette it is actually three different mixable colour pairings. browns, pinks, and greys. I have used a few of the colours and have to say they mix really nicely and you could more or less get away with this as a one palette to travel with, the only thing you might need to add is a highlight as the palest shade is not quite bright enough for me for picking out the brow bone highlight. I really like this and I do want to check out their website to see what other products are available.

Over all I have be thrilled with the products this month and am sure that the eyeshadows and lipstick will get some use over the festive period.

Book Review – Coco Pinchard’s Must Have Toy Story By Robert Bryndza

Okay first up a disclaimer, normally I post reviews on a Monday and today is Thursday but I am actually taking part in a blog hop on for the author, Robert Bryndza. I did receive a paperback copy of the books to review but as you know I cannot help but be brutally honest and that is no different on this one so lets begin…


As always we begin with the Goodreads blurb..

It’s December 1992 and Thunderbirds are all the rage. Coco Pinchard is desperately trying to track down this year’s must-have Christmas toy -Tracy Island- for her four-year-old son Rosencrantz.

With only a few shopping days left until Christmas, it’s proving an impossible task. Throw into the mix her new job teaching English in the notoriously rough St Duke’s comprehensive school, her lazy husband Daniel, and the prospect of the in-laws descending for the festivities, and Coco wishes she could postpone Christmas and sail off to an island somewhere. Preferably with Tom Wednesday, the handsome art teacher.

But help is at hand as faithful friends Chris and Marika rally round and even mother-in-law Ethel tries to help in her own intiminable way. From dodgy dealings in a lay-by, to extreme shopping in Hamley’s with a Sylvanian Families fanatic, to having a go at the Blue Peter make-your-own Tracy Island, Coco tries everything in the hope that Rosencrantz gets to open his must-have toy on Christmas morning.

Coco Pinchard’s Must-Have Toy Story is a fab festive addition to the smash-hit Coco Pinchard series.

Okay so this is the first book I have actually had in print, the others in the series I have previously read I have read on the Kindle, and I am going to be honest, the style of graphics on the cover does not really do it for me, this is of course a personal thing and something I mentioned in a review of one of the previous books, I could not pin down what it was that bothered me until my daughter was here the other day and picked it up from the table, she commented that it looked like one of the Tracy Beaker books she read when she was younger and I think that is the issue I have with the covers. The covers are very similar to those associated with YA fiction and that for twenty-something’s where as I definitely feel the books are aimed at a slightly more mature audience. It is not something that would normally bother me but I had enjoyed this series so much it is a shame to think others might over look them based on the impression of the cover. But enough of that now onto the inside.

I am not a fan generally of prequels, it is hard to fully immerse yourself in past events when you know what the future holds for the characters but this managed it very well for the most part. I felt by keeping the focus away from the marriage dynamics for the most part, and focusing on the relationships Coco has with the other characters, it developed a deeper understanding of Coco’s emotional development.  I loved that we got to learn how the friendship with Marika began and that things were not always as tense between Meryl and Coco, this also helps in understanding even more why Meryl turns to Coco in a previous book when her marriage is in crisis.

The story resonates with every parent who has ever had that nightmare of trying to get their hands on that one special gift their child wants, and for someone of my age croup the Tracy Island/Blue Peter story line was certainly one I can remember, however just a little niggle again here, I love this but anyone more than a decade younger than me is not going to get not only the pop cultural references, such as mentioning Gayle Tuesday, but also how different the world was back then. Because the author has such an incredible way of drawing you into the story it is easy to lose sight of certain things that may jar with a slightly younger audience, automatically understand there were no mobile phones and no internet, the absence of these does not cause me to have to stop and think, whereas I know my daughter who is in her early twenties would have had to adjust her thinking to get that aspect.

As has been the case consistently through the Coco Pinchard series, the humour shines through and I read this book in three sittings, which might not be that impressive for some but given the limited time I have for reading these days it is a huge deal in my life, and as most of my reading gets done in the bath, Robert Bryndza may end up being responsible for me doing a good impression of a prune.

So lets do the scores then a bonus for you all, my quibbles with this book are not so much with the writing but the fact others may miss out on reading it, which I think would be a real shame, personally though I really enjoyed this I would much prefer the author focused on Coco now rather than looking back, but this book like the rest of the series still receives a 5 out of 5

Gold star


Now as I mentioned this post is part of the author’s blog hop so we get a couple of bonus features first up if you go to Amazon today you can grab your own Kindle edition reduced to 99p / 99 cents.

Robert is also running a huge giveaway over on his Facebook author page –
Get your self over there for the chance to win!
The giveaway will be one prize consisting of;
A signed dedicated paperback copy of Coco Pinchard’s Must-Have Toy Story
A £20/$20 Amazon voucher
A limited edition A Very Coco Christmas mug, filled with Marks and Spencer’s chocolate Brussel Sprouts
A signed dedicated paperback copy of A Very Coco Christmas

Television Tuesday – Wrestling Soaps


Okay before anyone starts I know it is not real!

But that being said, I love watching the wrestling, and this week marks 25 years of one particular character ‘The Undertaker’. I used to watch years ago but then there was a time I could not afford to pay for the sports channels, now as I get them for the rugby I have picked up watching wrestling again and I have to say I still love it. If you look at wrestling as a series sport then of course you will be disappointed but it is not the in ring action that really keeps it going, it is the writing, the story lines, rivalries and characters them selves.  If you consider the character of the Undertaker and allow one storyline per year (and in reality he may have two or three) and compare that to releasing a book each year, then there are very few series that keep going for that long and allow the main character to alternate between the good guy and the bad ass. Even more traditional forms of soap have very few characters that stay in a show for that long and have major plots on a regular basis.  If you want serious sport watch the Olympics if you want great entertainment then sometimes you have to just let yourself ignore the obvious short punches.



I have discussed this film before but have no idea what happened to that post it may have been as part of a challenge, it goes to show the importance of tags at a later date lol. The thing I love about this film as much as the film itself is the idea of a single second or action having the power to change your life opposed to the idea that fate will always bring you back to the same place.  Whenever there is a disaster there are always those people who just missed a plane, people who were running late cursing as the missed a bus or train only to later discover that it was actually a blessing. We have all driven past accidents knowing if we had been two minutes earlier we may have been in it. It is that idea of what if vs it was meant to be that I find fascinating, have you ever had a major life changing moment as a result of missing a bus or train?


Now I know Bunny can be a little annoying to some people but personally I love her quirkiness and that she encourages young girls to just be themselves and not worry about being ‘normal’, whatever that is supposed to be on any given day. I really like this series because we have all seen those products on TV that seem like they would be really cool, very occasionally we take the plunge and buy one, half the time we go on to be disappointed. I love that she really does put these products to the test, if someone tells her she has done it wrong she often does a second follow up video having tried viewer suggestions. She buys these products herself and has no qualms about telling it as it is, and inspires honesty, integrity and individuality as traits her viewers should value, plus the monster loves watching her as well.

Special Treat

Okay so the only feedback I received on the book trailer confirmed my own gut reaction, the computer generated voices are not quite right, now don’t get me wrong I am not saying they will never be used again but I do need to spend more time learning how to modify the inflections etc which apparently should be possible with the programme I have, I just need time to learn how to use it lol. For today another premier this time a human voice narrating a story from Disintegration & Other Stories which is continued into Voices Across The Void.

Television Tuesday – Back To Basics

The last few weeks I have been rather slack in terms of blogging general but even more so on certain days, so today we are going back to the original format I intended for these posts so let’s go…


Given my away day this week it can only be one programme…

The reason I have chosen to discuss this, other than the obvious, is also that the season finale is fast approaching and we know that Clara’s days are numbered.  It was really interesting watching the panel with the writers of the show and learning the way that they craft the stories was fascinating. Sometimes my daughter complains that I read far too much into plot points and come up with far too many kooky theories but I fear that the writer in me cannot help but see extra links even when they are possibly not there. One thinks Steven Moffat did say that has really stuck in my head is that if you hit a wall the chances are that whatever is wrong is not what you have just written, it is somewhere further back and one you find the error everything else will fall back into place.


Rewatched this this week…

I loved these films the first time round, sadly so did the kids which led to the DVD’s becoming extremely scratched to the point where only a couple actually still worked, but, as we recently acquired an xbox One and the full box set was on offer at work (throw in staff discount) I decided to invest in a Bluray box set and I have to say the picture quality is fantastic. The thing that struck me was firstly just how young they all look but also just how rare it was that the original cast stuck it through all the films. In books we have full control of how our characters age, but in film that could have been problematic, you cannot be sure how someone will look as the age, and though make up can fix some things others are not that easy to sort out.  Imagine if the twins playing the Weasley twins had suddenly developed differently, if one had shot up a couple of extra inches or the other had put on weight, though they are identical twins these things can sometimes happen. I hate to think that in ten, twenty years time they will probably feel the need to remake the films because of new technology and hope  JK retained the control to make sure it never happens.


I love this series ‘Everything wrong with…’

I generally dislike sequels and people cashing in on franchises, also as the parent of a 7 year old monster who wants to be a palaeontologist, they give unrealistic expectations. Okay he knows that dinosaurs are not real but he also now believes every piece of amber should contain an  insect and that you can get DNA from every bone dug up. As a bonus though I want to show one of the monster favourite programmes at the minute that we recorded on the Tivo box.


Book Review – The Shepherd’s Crown By Terry Pratchett

Sometimes reading a book can break your heart…


So let’s see what Goodreads says…

A shivering of worlds

Deep in the Chalk, something is stirring. The owls and the foxes can sense it, and Tiffany Aching feels it in her boots. An old enemy is gathering strength.

This is a time of endings and beginnings, old friends and new, a blurring of edges and a shifting of power. Now Tiffany stands between the light and the dark, the good and the bad.

As the fairy horde prepares for invasion, Tiffany must summon all the witches to stand with her. To protect the land. Her land.

There will be a reckoning…

Okay this is going to be a review of two parts. The first will deal with the emotion of just opening this book while the second will deal with the actual story.

March 12, 2015, a series of three tweets broke the news everyone had known was coming but no one was prepared for…


Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night.

The End.

Like many others I know I shed a tear, some many think it strange to cry for a person you have never met, but as a writer knowing just how much of yourself you put into your creations, I like so many others felt I knew him. I know a few people who had been lucky enough to meet him in person and attested to the fact he was a warm and caring as he came across on TV interviews and other programmes he was involved with. Move on a couple of months and this book is released, the last Discworld book there will ever be, the final book in one of the greatest series ever written regardless of genre. And I am torn…

You see while I have this book sat unopened it is not over, there will always be one more book but, the minute I open it, the world, so masterfully created by Pratchett, ends.I put off reading it for that very reason, however as time has passed it was was becoming increasingly difficult to avoid spoilers, finally I decided I had to take the plunge and opened the book and within a few pages was crying once more.

The Discworld series can be broken down into sub-series such as those dealing with the witches, the wizards or other Discworld residents. This book is fitting as a final book as it  does tie a couple of these threads together but at the same time it is frustratingly tantalising in that one must now imagine the future of the Discworld as it transitions from the world of magic and beliefs in fairy folk and towards a world of science and discovery. So much potential will go uptapped, questions unanswered.  More than anything else this is a Tiffany aching book but without giving away too much of a spoiler we have to say farewell to a much loved character, a tragic foreshadowing of those final three tweets.

There is an afterword which suggests the book was not as finished as Terry would normally have demanded but it is barely evident, because of the way he wrote there are admittedly one or two places where you can speculate he would have returned and filled in more depth of detail but the story does not suffer for the fact he was denied the time to do that in this case.

As hard as it is to be constructive in this review I would say it has only one failing and that is that this is one of those books you cannot just pick up and read, well you could of course but a knowledge of the back story and the history of the characters really is needed to get the most out of it. Saying that if you have not read any of the series you are missing out, go to the first one and read them all, it can be a little hard at first, I will not lie the pace and humour  can be daunting to the uninitiated but if you have an appreciation for wit, satire, and seeing the humour in the quirks of humanity then this is the series for you.

I really don’t want to give this a mark though of course only one  is possible, a final five out of five and a sad farewell.

Gold star

Vlog Time 46 – Away Day

Better late than never…

(P.s towards the end of this vlog I make a few brief comments regarding the Paris attacks, this are just a few of my thoughts and in no way intended to offend anyone else, I did consider removing them as I do not normally comment on this sort of thing but I have always tried to be honest in my vlogs and not to over edit them.)

Vlogged Out

I have to apologise but for this week the vlog is cancelled!

So basically what happened was this, I filmed the vlog, but then I picked up my new computer from the shop,it actually arrived four days earlier than it was supposed to. I then wasted two days downloading windows 10 and my various programmes I use, the I tried to log into my Microsoft account to sort out my Office 365… nothing, just a blue circle of death until it eventually decided it was exhausted and timed out. I thought it might be my internet connection as some pages and upgrades had loaded, half an hour on the phone to Virgin media technician, still no resolution. Called the Knowhow team for PC world, he couldn’t understand what was going on either but agreed with my suspicion McAfee might be to blame. I decided to hang up on tech guy there would be a lot of sitting in silence during un-installing the programme and I could hear him making strange noises on the other end of the phone. So half an hour later programme un-installed I try a few sites again still no luck.

At this point I recall that though Windows 10 had worked perfectly on my laptop that had been upgraded from Windows 7, everyone I knew who complained about having issues had upgraded from Windows 8.1, queue genius idea!

I would use the recover previous version feature, it sounded so simple, I sat there waiting for it to do what it needed to and reboot, then it went to restart – and I got an error message, and I got it again and again. Finally I hit a button in panic which brought up a couple of options. I chose to try refreshing while saving my file. I had a melt down and posted a status to Facebook about wanting to cry, I picked the nail varnish off my fingers as I waited, then the moment of truth.

And yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It came back on, however I now needed to sort out all my stuff again so the vlog I filmed is sitting on a memory card and I really feel the moment has passed for it, but no fear because I have a couple of things up my sleeve, and next weeks vlog will include some footage from a very special day out I shall be having with the kids.

Right back to downloading software now and finding the licence codes for them, then some writing to be done before bed.