Glossybox Review August 2015

I am trying to catch up on a few things that have been sat waiting to be reviewed, posted about and talked about, hence this review and the fact the September one will be hot on it’s heels next week.

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When I opened this box I was really excited to see the make up products but even more so the Naobay product, so first up…

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SASS Purifying Cleanser

Okay I decided to start with the negative part of the box, and to be fair it is not a total negative more a case of I am not sure how necessary this is or how practical.  The whole point of the SASS products is they are aimed at the more ‘intimate’ areas of the anatomy, no while I completely understand the previous product I received (the one for after shaving and ingrowing hairs) I am not sure that I would really want to mess about in the shower using normal shower gel on 98% of my body avoiding 2% that I then use this on.  Firstly it would be impossible to avoid where those soap suds run and this product is £7 for the full size which is a lot more expensive than many other body washes that make similar claims for all day freshness. This is the one product in this box I can safely say I will not be buying.

Next up…

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Manna Kadar Lash Primer

This is one of those products I see people use on make up tutorials but never saw the point in… until now.  Now don’t get me wrong, I would not mess about using this under my normal everyday mascara but for a night out I really get why you use a lash primer now.  First it makes the mascara go on better and gives better coverage and secondly it means you do not need as many coats of more expensive mascaras which in the long run saves money. This one is £14.99 and though I am pretty sure you could probably get one cheaper it is a product that will last and prove to be worth its cost in saved mascara.  I will definitely be getting a lash primer once I use all this but not sure whether it will be this one or one available via my normal shops I visit.

And on once more…

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Naobay Calming Face Toner

I have to say I am rather falling in love with the Naobay range, I know at £10.65 it is pricey as are the other products but I am really loving them, my skin always feels really good after using them and obviously getting that feeling as you get older gets more difficult. They are available as well through Amazon so that helps keep costs down.  I have already added this to my wish list on Amazon and will be ordering once I get low on both this and the facial peel I got previously.

Next up…

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MeMeMe Lip Glide in Playful Peach

The only reason I still have this is my daughter tried to pinch it and forgot she had hidden it from me and I found it after she left. The colour is not one I would normally pick but I do like it and it does not look too bad one me. It applies well and lasts, at £6.95 it is good value for money and though I will probably not buy this shade again I might buy other shades.

And finally…

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Emite Artist Colour Powder Blush

This was one of the products I was excited about when I first opened the box but it turned out to be better as a bronzer than a blush on my colouring.  First you have to be very, very careful, a little goes a long way, plus the slightest touch does loosen lots of powder. The colour is a little dark and intense for me to use as a blush but works perfectly as a bronzer for contouring.  The other issue is the price, £20.59 is pricey and I would be terrified of dropping this product and wasting the whole thing as the packaging does not seem especially sturdy.  It is one more for keeping safely at home on the dressing table not in the handbag, and would be a long time before I have to decide if I would buy it again.

This photo shows me wearing the lip glide and blush…

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A week to my birthday!!!!!

This time next week will be my birthday.  My 44th birthday, so not a particularly special one. It will be four years since I decided to stop thinking about writing and get on with it, and in those four years I have been accepted and rejected, made friends and realised some people are only interested in what I can do for their writing and not in reciprocating the favours.

I have been published in a charity anthology Lupus Animus and in Zest, I have also self published my own short story collection Disintegration & Other Stories and have a second Voices Across The Void due out very soon. I am still learning the ropes of both my writing and the whole social media platform building thing.

So I thought to myself what can I do to celebrate well…

A birthday giveaway bonanza!!!!!!1

First up the Goodreads Giveaway here which will have two winners, each of whom will receive a signed book.

Then on Wednesday 30th September and Thursday 1st October you can grab a free Kindle copy if you don’t have it already.

And if you want to give me a present?????????? Well reviews are the best gift you can give an author, so if you enjoy the book let everyone know!

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Television Tuesday – What have you been watching?

It has been a strange week and at first I thought I had watched nothing then realised I had lol but I am curious to know what show are you loving at the minute? The monster had been counting down to the return of the Doctor and you just know that is going to feature in future weeks but as the first one is a two parter I shall leave it to discuss both parts together…

Television

So this week I needed to catch up on some recorded programmes…

First sorry I could not find a trailer or a clip but I am pretty sure you will either have turned off fairly quickly or had a good rant at the television. I have only had one issue with neighbours and it was short lived, I cannot believe the depths some people will sink to in order to deliberately intimidate and destroy their neighbours and at the same time am amazed by others who cannot see they have done anything wrong.

So many times we seem to witness actions where we point out if you had written it in a book no one would find it believable, you cannot fathom the rational where a person spends their time obsessing over how to make their neighbours lives a misery but this seems to be something that is becoming increasingly the case.  I guess it is one of the downsides to technology that it gives people more ways to stalk, harass and persecute other people be it by social media or installing cameras to spy, yes it can be good and provide the evidence of wrong doing but it is sad we find ourselves increasingly in a world where people are always on the offensive or defensive and seems to forget that life is too short for worrying about someone else’s life and to get on with making the best of their own.

Film

Now lots of you will remember my bitching about Maleficent , so it might surprise you my daughter got me to watch this..

I actually quite enjoyed it but my one real gripe, was the attempt to give the evil stepmother justification for her ill feeling towards Cinderella.  Now I totally understand the need for understanding behaviour in characters, especially in true murder and thriller but this is a fairy tale, the bitch is just supposed to be ‘evil’, we don’t need to understand her, feel sorry for her or understand in depth layers of her personality, it is not her story.  Okay rant over, overall I enjoyed it, I confess I am curious to see how they manage the ‘live’ action version of Beauty and the Beast am guessing that the way we are going with this needing to justify everyone’s actions the Beast will be lying on a couch with Lumiere acting as his shrink though.

Youtube

If you don’t follow rugby league you might not understand the emotion of this one…

Danny Jones played for a team local to me, a former Huddersfield Giants player Paul March was his coach at Keighley Cougars.  I know Paul from his Giants day he is a really nice bloke and it is through knowing him that his becomes even more real to me than if it had been a player there were not tenuous connections to. You see what the connection gave me was the opportunity to see real outpourings of grief, not just for a young man who died while playing a sport but for his family, for twin babies who will never know their dad.  In a time when people are becoming increasingly selfish and more worried about their own it has been amazing to see the community pull together, buckets appeared at grounds all over not just his home ground, people threw in their change and even a few pennies has made a difference to create a trust fund for the twins. There is not the money in rugby that you see in football, the careers are often shorter and leave longer lasting injury problems but in terms of heart there is no comparison, you don’t have to worry about taking your kids to a rugby match, you don’t have to worry about being in town on a match day, family is everything to the rugby community. You can read more about the story here, but what I find most heartwarming is in the face of her own grief Lizzie’s priority is making heart test mandatory for every semi-pro player up and making sure that another family never has to go through her heartache if it can be prevented.

Book Review – Coco Pinchard’s Big Fat Tipsy Wedding (Coco Pinchard #2)

This has been waiting for a review for weeks as  went straight into it after book one in the series but as I just started reading book three I thought I better get on with it… 22045592

So here is what is says on the Goodreads blurb

For Coco Pinchard forty is the new thirty. After a tumultuous divorce, she’s found love with the gorgeous, hunky, four-years-younger-than-her-so-technically-a-toy-boy, Adam. Her career as an author is finally a success, and she has fabulous friends in Chris, a neurotic middle-aged socialite, and Marika, a slightly alcoholic dog walker.

Coco is even learning to cope with awful ex mother-in-law, Ethel, who despite the divorce, still thinks it’s fine to criticise, especially when Coco and Adam decide to move in together…

But hours before move-in day, Adam ends their relationship without explanation and disappears. After the initial shock and anger (and an ‘I told you so’ from Ethel) Coco sets out to discover what has really happened.

Full of hilarious twists and turns, Coco Pinchard’s Big Fat Tipsy Wedding is a witty, heart-warming, romantic comedy – the highly anticipated stand-alone sequel to bestselling, The Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard.

Lets cut straight to the point the only thing I was not keen on about this book was the cover. The storyline is witty and, in places, laugh out loud funny, the character development makes you want to invest your time in following their lives and on the back of finishing this book I bought the next (and given the number of books on my TBR pile that is high praise) and pre-ordered the next one which I believe is a prequel and available next month.

I actually think the author should seriously consider a box set for new readers because once you read one book you will want to read them all, and as the series continues, which I hope it will, then I know as a reader I like being able to get all the previous books without having to exert myself too much looking lol.

I feel I am underselling this book but it really is one where you have to read it, the format is slightly different for this book featuring more live action than email and texts but I think the author should consider looking to sell these to a production company as they would make very good films, think ‘Bridget Jones’ for us more experienced ladies.

So the scores on the door, it has to be another well deserved 5 out of 5, I just hope book three is as good because it has a lot to live up to after the first two.

Gold star

 

Raw…

I started this post a dozen times, then decided not to write it , it simply hurt too much but not writing it does not ease the pain either so instead I will talk about the raw emotion that hurts so badly it is a physical pain. I am writing this Friday night but not posting until Saturday morning, that is assuming I do not change my mind again.

If you are not an animal lover you won’t understand how losing a four legged family member hurts as much as losing a two legged one but it does, I won’t even enter into that discussion and the ocean of tears I have cried today would confirm it to the hardest of hearts.

Today was the fourth time I have sat and said goodbye to a a beloved dog.  The first time was my sisters dog, that was devastating, it was also the worst way to experience it as the vet got the dosage wrong and it took several injections before she was at peace,I was not happy and as it was at an animal charity vets it made me realise you do get what you pay for.  Ever since, even when I would have qualified for free treatments I have always found the money to pay.

The second time was Smokey, he was a rescue dog on death row, age unknown but the vet thought about eighteen months old and I was only blessed with 7 years with him before he collapsed one morning and had a fit.  He got back up after and seemed okay but a little while later had another.  I rushed him to the vets, they gave him medicine to stop the seizures and I had to leave him there for a few hours for observation. I rung at the instructed time was told he was doing well and was on my way to collect him when they rang to say he was fitting again.  They concluded that it was a brain haemorrhage nothing could be done, they had run numerous blood tests looking for any other cause for a perfectly healthy dog to keel over but nothing showed at all, I sat on the floor in the back room at the vets and held him with his head in my lap as he went to sleep, it was so peaceful and tranquil and I knew I had done everything I could.

Roll forward several years and Rat the Yorkshire Terrier, he came into our lives middle aged and from a good home that could not keep him at that time, he was around eleven and was beginning to suffer with the doggy version of dementia when he began to have kidney failure. again nothing could really be done, he stayed home until it became clear he was beginning to suffer, at that point I took him to the vets and he was put to sleep, again it was a blessing and he went peacefully to sleep.  The only guilt I felt after at his end was that he loved going to the vets because he always got a new squeak toy whenever we went but on that final trip I went home without one.

Then there was this morning.

I knew it was coming, we had known for the last week.  Unlike the other dogs there was no illness, no pain, just the inevitable finality of age.  For 16 and a half years Boris had been my shadow, I lost track of the number of times I turned round too quickly and tripped over him.  The last few days he had literally not let me out of his sight willingly, when I had to do the school run or go to work he had sat by the door and waited, you might ask how I knew but I just did, I could read that dog just like my kids, I knew him inside out.

I know he wanted to stay with me and in one way I am glad he was at home when he went but his passing was harder than all the others put together.  Partly there is the length of time I had him of course, then just the type of dog he was, he was convinced he was a lapdog and never accepted he was really too big to sit on peoples knees.  But there is another aspect that I never experienced until today and that is the fear that you are doing the wrong thing.

The clinical induced sleep you go through at the vets is different to the way it happens at home.  I was lucky my ex’s mum was with us to help hold me together and reassure me because I was scared.  Your hear about the death rattle but at the vets you don’t experience it, my ex’s mum has worked in care homes for decades and has attended deathbeds more times than she likes to think about, she helped me understand what was normal and stopped me doubting that I was doing the right thing.  And believe me the final few hours I was doubting myself, I knew he was not in pain but I did wonder if I should take him to the vets and put an end to it rather than waiting for nature to take its course. The irony is I had discussed it with my daughter earlier that morning and we decided to wait a little longer but then I texted her and said it was killing me watching him as he seemed to be fighting to stay with me, she rang the vets and was ringing me to discuss the options at the exact time he took his final breath. I believe he went as he wanted, at home with me by his side, but that is another thing that you struggle to cope with when you are home alone.

You see at the vets they are trained, they know the signs to look for, have the stethoscope to listen to the chest, but when you are sat there trying to see through the tears pouring down your cheeks your mind plays tricks on you.  You think you see breathing but the hand on the chest tells you there is none, you think you feel a pulse but then realise that it is your own pounding through your fingertips, you know they have gone but you are terrified you have got it wrong and they are still there and you should be doing something. It is the same panic that you feel when you flush a fish down the toilet, it does not make a difference it was floating belly up the second you hit flush you become convinced that you saw it swim and that you have sent it to the sewers, now times that by a hundred or so.

Then there is the pain, this is no different whether you are at home or at the vets, but you cannot explain it to someone who has not felt it, the tears that pour, stinging your eyes, you try to hold it in but then it feels like your head will explode, it is like someone has hands clamped on your temples and is squeezing slowly, increasing the pressure constantly until you allow the dams to break again.  Then the pains in your chest, when they talk of dying from a broken heart it is assumed to be metaphorical but anyone who has felt this knows the actual pain is physical, not a knife through the heart, the pain is not that sharp more like someone hitting you with a sledgehammer over and over again.

Why have I written this? In part because I am a writer, that is what I do, this is how I make sense of what I am feeling. You see the hardest part right now is that the tears are flowing down my cheeks and the one who would normally lick them away, as he has done so many times down the years is no longer here to do so.  Do I believe he is in a better place? Do I believe we will meet again? The fact is the answer to those questions is totally irrelevant at the minute because right now the pain is too raw for beliefs to even begin to numb the heartbreak…

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No Vlog today.

I am sorry but to be honest really this week I have been more or less constantly by Boris’s side when not working, he is still with us but I fear we are now in his final hours, and I know that the pet lovers amongst you will understand my grief and heartbreak.

Some people might question why I have not taken him to the vets and had the end brought forth and I have considered this numerous times, and if at any time he showed any sign of pain I would do it in a heartbeat, but I can assure you he is not, and believe me he would let me know if he were he is simply tired and sleeping constantly more or less now, if possibly I want to allow him to go in his own time, in his own home, if I am honest it would be easier on me to take him and have him put to sleep but right now I allow his actions and looks to guide me and give him lots of cuddles.

If you have not put your name in the hat there is still the Goodreads Giveaway running here

I will be back once things have run there course

Vlog Time #41 – The Ups and Downs of Life

Basically back to me sitting and waffling in front of the camera, a few focus issues as I was not using the tripod on a firm surface rather I had it on the bed with me ( I will not do it again I promise) and a bonus feature of the monster and a horse.

Goodreads Giveaway

Amazon UK Link

Amazon.com Link

I am so excited!

I know I have been a little quiet, I am busy working away in the back ground you know how it goes but today something rather exciting is happening. If you want a nosy then click on the link and go look see and I will talk more about how this came about in this weeks Vlog, and yes the face demons have gone down enough for me to inflict my face on you once more…

Exciting News

Be sure to check out some of the other amazing authors featured over there today as well!

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