Summer | 16

Summer was -a bit all over the shop if I am being entirely honest. This space is often inspired by my lifestyle however I don’t often write posts directly discussing my personal life. I think this is what these Recap posts will probably become; a little bit of an honest recap of, not only this space but also my health, studies, and personal life.

 
Life: 
The summer started with a disaster. Long story short the bottom floor of our townhouse flooded -with knee-high neat sewage. Because of this, we were evacuated to my grandparents where we have spent the whole summer. My grandparents only live a few towns away but still it has been difficult to stay well rested, keep updated with the house, battle with insurance assessors whilst also remaining sane. 
 
Throughout this time my beach hut has served as a serene oasis to escape to whenever we have the chance. With low signal and very little people around it is almost like being marooned on an island without any interference which has just been pure bliss. 
 
Feeling: 
The flooding process has also made me realize that I am very inward when it comes to my emotions and thoughts. I tend to go into my shell, only voicing my opinion when I think it is really necessary or, as my granddad says, be like the owl sees all, hear all, say nothing. Having said this, I have also noticed that my emotions and feelings tend to fuel a creative fire and I have felt driven and inspired more than ever to create. 
 
Reading:
I had a list of things to achieve over the summer but when the flood happened things had to be moved around a bit. A lot of the things I wanted to achieve were things I needed to do at home so I had to move to Plan B -my reading list. I didn’t want to set my sights too high but there were quite a collection of books I wanted to read. These are a couple of them I got through:
Skin Cleanse, The Night Circus, It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be, The life-changing magic of tidying up, The golden rules of blogging, The Miniaturist, The Hound of Baskervilles and The Valley of Fear, and Careless People. 
 
Watching: 
Marathoned MIC, Friends, Gilmore Girls, My Family and a lot of youtube!
 
Creating:
Lots of Blog content -I am so excited to share the posts I have been working on throughout the summer. This space has really been a welcomed distraction from the house stresses. I have also been journaling a lot and updating photo albums, something I have been meaning to do for the longest time. 

Recent Favorites: 

These favourites are creature comforts along with a few new pieces. My mom gifted me a turntable at the beginning of the summer which I was over the moon with. I have a couple of records, my favourite being this one by the Script. I also got this pair of pink velvet loafer slippers, with an embroidered rose detail on the toe, that I have been obsessed with. Usually, I don’t go for such light, feminine colours or styles but I love loafers and for some reason have felt so drawn to blush tones this year that I couldn’t pass up on these beauts. My last favourite would probably be this granny square crochet blanket that was a gift last spring. It is so cozy, perfect to have to go into fall. 

Listening: 
To a lot of Podcasts. I have many favourites but the ones I have been leaning towards recently are LadyGang, Ctrl Alt Delete and Elise Gets Crafty. I particularly loved the episode of LadyGang when they had Amanda Schull as their guest. As a center stage fan, I couldn’t help but listen to that episode a few times. 

 
Enjoying:
Something I have really been enjoying is this DSLR course, by A Beautiful Mess, I have been working through. I purchased it before Christmas but with health and finishing my uni year I wasn’t able to crack it open. With my list of blog ideas as long as my arm and a numerous amount of photos to produce, it felt like the perfect time to whip it out and get to know how to use my camera in manual mode. Needless to say, I think it has gone really well, and I’m enjoying the flexibility that manual mode gives my photos. 

So, that has been my Summer and now I am so ready for Autumn. October is my favourite time of the year, mainly because of Halloween but also as my uni year starts and I’m ready to get back into my routine. 

What have your Summer highlights been? Are you looking forward to Autumn? 
Cheerio for now! 

Book Review: The Night Circus

Ribbons, Ravens, and Rêveurs 
The Night Circus Book - accompanied by a red Rêveurs scarf and a black and white cup and saucer

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern has quickly become my favourite book. I remember constantly seeing it recommended on blogs and in magazines but never troubling myself to search it on Amazon. It wasn’t until a few years back I picked it up as an impulse buy at my local bookstore. It was right at the checkout and feeling drawn to the cover I quickly purchased it before having time to give it a second thought. It sat on my bookshelf ever since til last fall, when I devoured it on a rainy day. 

 
There is very little detail of the story I can give without giving away spoilers so let’s just say the story is a game played by Celia Bowen and Marco Alisdair which takes place at the night circus. It involves magnificent feats, vivid characters, and the most beautiful story ever wrote (in my opinion). The way it’s written is truly magnificent, not only telling you the story of the circus but also threads of outsiders’ stories who baffle you, to begin with, only to fall into place as you read on. The threads carefully curated by Morgenstern slowly weave together and make the book even more enchanting. I also love how the reader can experience certain elements and feats from within the circus through sections of the books; which just adds to the overall enjoyment and lures the reader in, as though they could brush shoulders with the characters themselves. 

It’s the type of book you can read over and over, with its enticing magic affecting you more and more with every read. The type of book you never want to finish, as you will have to leave this wonderful escape Morgenstern has created and come crashing back to reality. 

Have you ever read The Night Circus? What did you think? Comment below. 
Cheerio for now! 

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To read any of my other book reviews, click here

Tropic ABC Collection

Tropics ABC Skincare Collection 

tropic - ABC collection face routine

 

Having started to go natural with my skincare and toiletries, I came across Tropic last year through a friend. The first element of my routine I was trying to change was my face care, so naturally, the first products I bought were the Smoothing Cleanser, the Vitamin Toner and the Skin Revive to fill the place of my usual 3-step routine. It’s more than likely that customers will purchase certain products to use together, so Tropic has created certain collections with products such as this. For instance, those three products come in a collection along with the Eye Refresh and save £15 in the process (essentially you get the eye refresh free).

Tropic Products - smoothing cleanser, vitamin toner & skin revive

Smoothing Cleanser, complexion purifier with bamboo cloth:
The Smoothing Cleanser is the first step in the ABC face routine. The cleanser contains Golden Jojoba oil, Sweet Almond oil and Avocado oil giving a refreshing blend for clear and soft skin. The texture is milky and smooth to apply, and it quite literally melts away makeup in the gentlest of ways.
 
To use you simply massage 2-4 pumps onto dry skin in gentle circular motions. This will remove any makeup or impurities on your eyes, face, and neck. To remove, rinse off with warm water using the bamboo cloth. If you use this to remove makeup it’s recommended to use another 2 pumps to cleanse your face after, and remember to give your bamboo cloth a good rinse after removing your make up.
 
Vitamin Toner, pore refining mist
The Toner is probably the most refreshing product I have ever come across. With a mixture of Rose Water, Cucumber, and Aloe Vera Juices it is perfect to calm, rejuvenate and minimise pores.
 
After using the cleanser, just spritz the Toner across your face and neck, and leave to sink in. You can also use a cotton pad to wipe around the face, it’s just as effective either way.
 
Skin Revive, nourishing cream concentrate
With a blend of Rosehip oil, Golden Jojoba oil and Aloe Vera Juice I can see why this product is labelled as nourishing. Skin Revive is hydrating and moisturising on your skin, whilst also being gentle and giving a radiant complexion.
 
Use 2-3 pumps onto face and neck in circular motions and leave to absorb.

Tropic products - bamboo cloth & eye refresh
Eye refresh, cooling gel roll-on
In a rollerball applicator, the Eye Refresh is easy to apply for that little pick-me-up or when you need to look wide-eyed. The cooling blend of Cucumber Juice, Aloe Vera, and Ginseng makes the mixture perfect for calming puffy, tired skin and dark circles. This little bad boy has quickly become an essential to not only keep on me when I go out but also when I’m studying or just lounging around the house. 
 
To use, simply roll under eyes as much as you require.
 
I love each and every one of these products. All of them work so well together but also have such strength as individual products. Whenever I have come across natural products in the past they have often been way out of my price range, so it’s incredibly refreshing to come across natural products that are not only within my budget but also effective and match my own ethos. 
You can read more about Tropic and their brand here.


Have you ever tried Tropics?
Cheerio for now! 
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On The Radar: Colouring Craze

Colouring Books - Escape to Wonderland & Alice's adventures in Wonderland

Vintage Colouring Books - Bygones & Vintage
colouring book - official harry potter colouring book
For around a year now there seems to have been a serious trend going with colouring books. Suddenly they were everywhere. I’ve always seen mindfulness colouring books but instead of patterns, there’s now all sorts going around. Vogue ones for fashionistas, Shakespeare and Alice in wonderland ones for the bookworms, even city and destination ones for those with the travel bug.
 
For Christmas, I received a couple of Alice ones and since then I’ve collected a few vintage ones too. I love the illustrations in the vintage ones, the old-school sweets, toys, teacups -urgh they make my heart burst a little. 
 
These books are great for a lazy Sunday, to get carried away with after a stressful day or even for something to do on a flight or train journey! There’s something so therapeutic and blissful about zoning out of reality and getting lost in an illustrated world of colouring for awhile. 
 
Have you got any Colouring books? Which is your favourite? 
Cheerio for now! 

About Tropics

Tropic Brand Bag - (Colourful Tropic Leaves)
Tropic Brand bag
I recently tried to write a post about my everyday products by Tropic, but each time I started to derail off topic and go on a tangent of how amazing the brand is, their principles, etc. Knowing how much I hate those rambling posts I decided the only way was to produce this post with everything you need to know about the brand before you get bombarded by all my lovestruck, gushing posts about the products. Let’s begin*

Tropic Products - Superfood Hand Therapy, Eye Refresh & Body Smooth
What is Tropic? 
Tropic is a skincare brand that produces natural skin care products including face, body, and makeup. The products are made using natural formulations from tropical plants, derived from all the natural goodness from plants including the flower, stem, roots, leaves, seeds and fruit. The mission of Tropic is the clear, healthy skin of their customers and for this reason, they only use the richest, most nutritious ingredients out there. 
 
The principles at the root of the company and each product they produce are ‘Pure, Honest, Effective’. As lovers’ of animals they do not test on animals and are certified by Cruelty-Free International, with their products home to the leaping bunny stamp. They are also certified by The Vegan Society and hold the sunflower vegan symbol. Tropic Products
Tropic place an emphasis on honesty, placing their ingredients in not only the INCI system but also in a plain English translation of what those actual ingredients are, so you don’t have to cause those extra few frowning wrinkles whilst you try to decipher those big jargoned scientific words. Each item also holds a ‘best before’ date so that you know how fresh the ingredients in the product are and when to finally toss it. Helpful huh? 
 
Because products are made using premium natural ingredients, this means they can be used on all skin types, even the most sensitive of skin. I have always suffered from sensitive skin and seem to have never truly found a product hydrating enough, though Tropic has exceeded all my expectations and ticks all the boxes I need in my skin care. Tropic Products - Bamboo Cloth, Night Repair & Skin Repair
Tropic Products - Smoothing Cleanser, Vitamin Toner & Radiance Clay
What do I mean by natural? 
Tropic only use 100% natural derived ingredients or those that are nature identical. A small number of their products have safe synthetics, though this is only used as a last resort when there are no natural or vegan alternatives. Having said this, as a rule, Tropic products are free from Parabens, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Phthalates, alcohol, Petrochemicals, Gluten, Harsh preservatives, Harmful Synthetic Fragrances, Toxic Chemicals and so much more. You can view the whole list hereTropic - Radiance Clay Mask
Why have I never seen Tropic at the Drugstore? 
The reason you won’t have ever seen any of the Tropic products in your local drugstore is because of their natural ingredients. Each product is made to order to ensure you have the freshest ingredients going onto your skin. Each and every product is manufactured in the company’s Beauty Kitchen in Surrey, which means when you place an order the product you get has been produced specifically for you instead of sitting on a shelf, being preserved by harsh chemicals. 

 

 
Tropic has quickly become my favourite skincare brand. Their products are luxurious, effective and don’t break the bank in the process. If that doesn’t sound good to you I don’t know what will. 


*You can read more about the brand and check out their products on their website here.

I hope you look forward to all my Tropic-centred posts
Cheerio for now! 
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Photography – Hannah Cross 

Book Review: Skin Cleanse

The Simple, All-natural Program for Clear, Calm, Happy Skin 
Skin Cleanse book - the simple, All-natural program for clear, calm, happy skin

Just like many of the books I read, Skin Cleanse by Adina Grigore had been lurking on my Amazon Wishlist for months before I received it for my birthday. Having already started the process of going all-natural with my toiletries and skincare for little over 6 months, I was seeking guidance in a big way and so this book couldn’t have fallen into my hands at a better time. 

Skin Cleanse - a map of your skin illustration

Adina talks her reader through every aspect of adopting the simple, all-natural body care routine in an easy, jargon-free way. When reading you honestly feel as though she’s sitting telling you this over a coffee. Through the 8 chapters, she educates you on not only how to identify problematic products, but also how to weed them out of your routine and find another little gem to slip in its place (-usually something you already have in your kitchen, I might add). She teaches you how and the importance of keeping food and product journals to notice triggers for your skin and body. The book also contains so many vital lessons and tips on how to read and decipher ingredient labels to identify those little nitty-gritty buggers you really don’t want going onto your skin, and then being absorbed by your body. Another aspect I really didn’t anticipate to read in the book was how your ancestry, environment and how your great-grandmother lived, can affect your own lifestyle and body (truly fascinating and educating chapter). 

Skin Cleanse book - Chapter 7 be your own apothecary

Adina also has created and provided her reader with a whole chapter based around becoming your own apothecary and making your own effective, and all-natural, products right out of your kitchen cupboards. I mean the power to clear, healthy skin is right at your fingertips and once you read Adina’s insights on how to do so you’ll never look back, trust me! 

Skin Cleanse Book - so much in common, head to toe illustration

Overall this book has been an amazing read and became my best friend/bible/guru all in one. I love the entire approach of this book and the way it’s been written. The easy-to-read affect but also the important message that your body absorbs everything you put on it; so it’s important to pay attention to those ingredients and how your body reacts. 

Have you ever read Skin Cleanse? 
No -you need to get it | Yes, what did you think? 
Cheerio for now! 
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To read any of my other book reviews, simply click here

Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour // Hogwarts Castle

If you haven’t been to the Warner Bros Studio Tour and you’re hoping to in the future, then I would skip this post, and any future posts titled ‘Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour’, as it contains spoilers

After Diagon Alley, you’re led up, and around, a room full of models of set designs and structures from different scenes. Here are just a few… 

Hogwarts Set Miniature Set Design
Hogwarts Bridge Miniature Set Design
whomping willow tree miniature set design
Lovegoods Home Miniature Set Design
Statue of Hogwarts Architect
Hogwarts Castle Set
Hogwarts Castle Outer Filming set
Hogwarts Castle Outer Filming Set
Hogwarts Castle Outer Filming Set
Hogwarts Castle Outer Filming Set
Hogwarts Castle Outer Filming Set
Hogwarts Castle Outer Filming Set
Hogwarts Castle Outer Filming Set
Hogwarts Castle Outer Filming Set
Have you ever been to the Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour? What did you think of Hogwarts Castle? 
Cheerio for now! 

Book Review: It’s not how good you are, It’s how good you want to be

It’s not how good you are, It’s how good you want to be 
-Paul Arden 
It's not how good you are, it's how good you want to be

Quite a short, compact book It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be by Paul Arden was a fast and inspiring book to read. Full with personally and professional advice, both for the corporate employee and the creative folks, this made for a really interesting read; and really opened my mind about my own career path. From failures to strokes of luck, Arden discusses is it all and motivates you to see these situations in different lights. It’s almost as though this book is preparing you for every situation you could possibly be put in, in your career. For this reason, I would say it would probably make a great gift for someone graduating, leaving school or maybe even someone who has recently left a job or changing jobs. Where it is a short and fast read, it’s also pretty ideal for those short of time. 

To read any of my other book reviews, simply click here

Have you ever read this book, what did you think? Comment below
Cheerio for now!

Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour // Diagon Alley

If you haven’t been to the Warner Bros Studio Tour and you’re hoping to in the future, then I would skip this post, and any future posts titles ‘Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour’, as it contains spoilers
Dragon Alley Shop Sets
Ollivanders Wand Shop Set
Flourish & Blott's Bookshop
Flourish & Blott's Book shop Sign
Weasley's Wizard Wheezes
Puking Pastilles Set
Shenanigans for all Weasley shop sign
Looking down Diagon Alley - Gringotts & Ollivanders
To read about disabled accessibility, read this post
 
Have you ever been to the Studio Tour? What did you think about Diagon Alley? 
Cheerio for now! 

Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour // Cafe & Backlot

If you haven’t been to the Warner Bros Studio Tour and you’re hoping to in the future, then I would skip this post, and any future posts titled ‘Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour’, as it contains spoilers

 Trying Butterbeer and Butterbeer ice cream

Butterbeer-stache 
To read about the Accessibility of the tour, read this post
Have you ever been to the Studio Tour? What did you think of Butterbeer? 
Cheerio for now!