Physical Photographs

I love photos. They never change, even when the people inside them do. They just stay frozen with the characters stuck in time.

As much as technology is great these days (-borderline ‘scary-great’) I miss the beauty of physical photographs. As a child, I remember my mom collecting film reels to take to the local photo shop to have developed. Weeks later we would go back and she’d come back to the car with stacks of photo packets. She’d spend so many evenings sorting them into photo albums and writing notes on the back about the occasion within the photo. What do we do now? We post them to facebook or Instagram, get some likes and comments and then that’s it, they are forgotten forever. *sad

In 2015, I got a polaroid camera and fell back in love with physical photographs. Sure the quality isn’t as defined but it is still a nostalgic luxury to hold your photographs -instantly, might I add. This process has spurred me to make an effort to print out my photographs and organise my own photo albums. Something to look back on, just like my mom is able to do. 

When was the last time you got your photos printed off? 
Cheerio for now! 

Review: Aztec Secret Indian Healing Facial Clay

Health & Beauty - Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask Tub
Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay - Green Bentonite Clay Powder

I saw this face clay around over a year ago but steered clear thinking it was simply a gimmick product like a perfume called ‘mermaid tears’ or body shimmer called ‘fairy dust’. It wasn’t until it popped up in one of Simply_Kenna’s Cruelty-Free Products video that I finally thought I’d give it a shot. The Aztec Healing Clay comes in a screw top tub, as seen above, which I paid around £9 for a 1 Lb tub from Amazon. There was a mixture of reviews on the site which made me a little hesitant but at such a cheap price I decided to go for it. 

The Aztec Secret Indian Healing Facial Clay has multiple uses and benefits, including removing dirt and impurities from pores. It’s deep cleansing properties are miracle workers for the minimized appearance of pores and brightening effects on the skin. Bonus factor- it’s 100% natural Calcium Bentonite (Green) Clay. 

How can you use it? 

  • The tub says the clay can be used for facials, acne, bodywraps, foot soaks, baths and insect bites. Personally, I have only used it on my nose, around my lip area and on acne as those are my problem areas. 
  • To use, simply add equal parts of the clay with raw apple cider vinegar or water to form a smooth paste. 
  • To mix, it’s required to use a non-metal bowl and utensil
  • Make sure no liquid gets into your tub of product so the rest of the clay powder doesn’t ruin.
  • Once the mixture is smooth, apply to problem areas and let dry. For delicate skin let the mix sit for 5-10 minutes and 15-20 minutes for normal skin. It will feel tight and may even have a warming effect on your skin. 
  • Once ready to remove, rinse off with warm water. 
  • Once removed skin will have a redness to it for around 30 minutes but soon disappears. 
  • Use once a week, or more often for problem areas. 

This product has become a must-have in my skincare regime and I use it once a week. Because you are mixing it yourself, at times it is a little tricky to get the consistency right and in the first few uses you can potentially waste quite a bit of the product. My advice to avoid this would be to start with the smallest amount and go from there, even if that means mixing up a new batch if you don’t quite have enough for your use. I have to say, overall I am super impressed by this product and its’ quality. I would recommend to anyone who wants to give their skin some extra TLC.



Have you ever tried Aztec Secret Indian Healing Facial Clay? What did you think?
Cheerio for now! 
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Book Review: The Miniaturist

The Miniaturist, Jessie Burton 
Book | The Miniaturist
Book | The Miniaturist

 

This book was one that had caught my eye many a time from its place of pride, on the bestseller bookshelf at my favourite bookstore. I had read the blurb a half a dozen times but for some reason never purchased it. The description was so intriguing and it made its’ way onto my reading list but there were always other books that distracted me until it was gifted to me at Christmas (is there a reoccurring pattern here? -I think so). It wasn’t until our summer ‘uproot’ that I finally cracked the spine and got sucked into the world of what happens behind the doors of a 17th-century merchant trader family home in Amsterdam. 
 
The story revolves around Nella Oortman who becomes Nella Brandt, the young wife of Johannes Brandt. With her husband off at sea and trading in distant lands, he gives her a miniature cabinet house to fill her time and distract herself with. After sourcing a miniaturist the cabinet quickly comes to a life in a way that unnerves Nella and so the story twists and turns in the most unexpected of ways. 
 
Both the story and the way Burton has produced this story was both beautiful and intensely gripping. I wish I could mention more about this novel but I do not want to give away any spoilers, especially as there are so many plot twists within. As soon as you think you have figured out why and what is happening, you are blindsided by another piece of the puzzle. Overall, I loved this book. It made for a great read, no doubt one I will return to and reread over and over. 
 
Have you ever read The Miniaturist? What did you think? 
Cheerio for now!

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To check out my other book reviews, click here

Kind Natured

I came across the brand Kind Natured when I was searching for a natural shampoo and conditioner. I was just giving up hope when I was drawn to the simple but pretty packaging. Although it’s not entirely natural it is pretty close and with no Parabens, Sulfates or Petrochemicals I had to grab it. I discovered these gems in Boots and they are usually on a 3 for 2 offer so it works out a great way to try out a few products without breaking the bank. Here is a little about the products they do… 

Hair Care

The shampoo and conditioners were the first things I tried amongst the products and I used the Colour Care Coconut & Shea Shampoo and Conditioner. I found the formulation so hydrating and moisturizing on my hair, plus it smells amazing. I have also used the Super shine Argan & Kukui oil shampoo and conditioner which is such a divine combination and also helps keeps my frizzy flyaways stay at bay. The Nourishing Ylang Ylang & Sage and the Volumizing Rosemary & Mint are two of the Shampoo and Conditioner variations that I haven’t tried as yet but I do have them to hand for when mine run out.  The ylang-ylang and sage one particularly smells incredible. 
 
On a recent trip to the drugstore, I noticed Kind Natured have started to produce kids products. There are two shampoos: Apple Smoothie Gentle Care Kids Shampoo and Jam Doughnut De-Tangle Kids Shampoo. They also have a Tutti Fruitti detangler spray which, I’m not going to lie, I have actually been using (and loving). 
 
Bath Soak
Now I haven’t tried any of the bath soaks because, well -I don’t have a bath. But the combinations they have are Nourishing Amber & Pink Pepper, Heavenly Coconut & Passionflower, and Soothing Sea Salt & Bergamot. If anyone has tried these please leave a comment below or on my insta, I’d love to hear your thoughts
Body Wash
The body wash is amazing. So far I have tried the Nourishing Amber & Pink Pepper and the Soothing Sea Salt & Bergamot but I know there is also Heavenly Coconut & Passionflower; which I will probably try out at some point soon. Sea Salt & Bergamot is my favourite so far. I find the combination so calming which is perfect when you want to wind down. I’m hoping Kind Natured bring out a body cream in this scent, it would be so dreamy! 
Lip Balms
Now I feel I need to mention that the lip balms are more of a lip gloss consistency rather than a balm. Packaged in a squeezy tube, it can be all too easy to squeeze too much out all at once and then have sticky lips. I have the Moisturizing Coconut Oil one in my bag on me, pretty much all the time. I tend to keep the Nourishing Manuka Honey at home and apply it at night as the formulation is a more intense moisturizer. 

Now, I usually mention whether or not products are cruelty-free and vegan certified however there are no indicators on the products themselves and I couldn’t see anywhere online either so, for now, that is a big question mark. 
 
Have you ever tried Kind Natured? What did you think about the products? 
Cheerio for now! 

15 songs that lift my spirits

It’s no secret that Summer and Autumn last year were quite tough on me, not only physically but also emotionally. I was feeling low and in need of some serious picking up. My friends were amazing through this period of time, supporting me with shoulders to cry on, kind words and plowing me with cake and tea. Having said this, my friends have jobs to hold down and so couldn’t be there 24/7. In these moments I turned to music.

I think music has a profound effect on all of us. It has the power to transport us back to a time and place long lost in our memories; evoking emotions in us through a few simple chords. With it being that time of the year, when many are suffering from the festive blues, I thought it was the ideal time to share my favourite tunes to blast those blues away and get my spirits soaring.

 
Comment below your favourite ‘pick-me-up’ tunes or what you do to cure the January blues. 
Cheerio for now! 

Autumn | 16


Life:
Autumn, just like Summer, was stressful in ways but more emotionally draining than anything else. Turning 21 was a difficult stepping stone and it brought with it a few unearthed emotions I had to deal with, but regardless I had an amazing birthday and was thoroughly spoilt. My health has been steadying and, while I do still have bad days and flares, I have managed to get to a steady point where I can keep my head above water.

Feeling: Going into Autumn I was drained and hadn’t really got an even balance of different areas of my life. I have definitely realized the importance of self-care, unwinding and switching off. I have come to use skincare as my ‘time’, as well as listening to podcasts with a hot brew.

Reading: Many Magazines. I have enjoyed discovering and reading a lot of new magazines lately (well, new to me). I love my Peppermint subscription, as well as catching up with Frankie magazine every so often, however, lately, I have discovered some new loves that I am head over heels with. The Messy heads, Popshot and Oh Comely are just a few. I will no doubt do an entire post because there is so much to say about each of them.

Watching: I marathon watched all The Gilmore Girls episodes in anticipation for the Reunion (I will probably end up doing a post on my thoughts about the reunion). This also made me finally invest in Netflix which got me hooked on Pretty Little Liars. I am currently on the season five so no spoilers, please. I also loved watching vlogtober. October is my favourite month, so having certain YouTubers creating content daily was really great. My favourites were The fashion citizen and sunbeamsjess.

Creating: A lot of writing. I’m currently working on a creative writing module towards my degree, so naturally, I have been writing constantly. I have really enjoyed it so far and have loved learning different techniques to help my writing grow and develop in new ways.

Recent Favourites: A lot of birthday related things. I received a pocket watch from my grandparents for my birthday, which I am absolutely in love with. When I opened it, my eyes nearly popped out my head like cartoon characters. It is truly something I will cherish forever. Another favourite was my cake -yes, my cake. My mom had a replica of my beach hut made, which was so pretty and well made; and yes, it was delicious.

Listening: I like to listen to movie scores or instrumental pieces when I study, so I have really enjoyed some of Spotify’s playlists. I’ve been routinely listening to podcasts, particularly Stuff you missed in history class, Ladies who Lunch, and Myths and Legends -yup, I’m a sucker for those history and mystery vibes.

Enjoying: My current uni module, A125 Creative Writing with The Open University. I can go into my studying/uni experience a bit more in a different post, but so far have been really enjoying this module. I have also been enjoying puppy cuddles. My mom’s partner got a red Labrador at the end of September, so I have been taking full advantage of cuddles whilst he is still small enough to bear hug.

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

My Skin Care Story

Having shared a few posts about Tropic Skincare (and my infinite love for the brand) I thought it was only right to let you in on my skin story, what my routine has been in the past and what I use now. 

I grew up in a stage school community, where thick and heavy makeup was necessary. This meant that skincare was, and has, always been an important element of my daily routine. I also have quite sensitive and dry skin so making sure my skin is nourished and hydrated is key.

Up until a year ago, I used a 3-step face routine from a local drug store. I had been using the particular brand for years though I didn’t feel it was doing any justice to my skin. I would often feel like I needed to keep applying moisturiser to my face throughout the day and my face often felt tight and itchy. It was around this time that I started to use coconut oil on my body, and after reading about its multiple uses I decided to give it a go as a face moisturiser. I immediately saw a difference in my skins hydration and felt as though there was moisture within my skin instead of it being dry and flaky.

I then started to use rose water as a natural toner. I did make my own, to begin with, but then simply bought one from my local store. Again, within just a few days I saw results. My skin was so much clearer. I was then faced with the task of finding a cleanser or some sort of face wash to remove dirt, which is what led me to start using Dr Bronners’ unscented Castille soap.

This was my 3-step routine, Castille soap as my face wash, Rosewater as a toner and then coconut oil as my moisturiser. This routine worked really well for me but I am not sure I would recommend it to anyone. I have since read that Castille soap is an alkali and so once it has been used your meant to neutralize this step with something acidic. I’m not sure how true this is but on these premises, I wouldn’t openly recommend it. I should mention that I also exfoliated -using coconut oil and Himalayan fine pink sea salt. 

This was my routine before I discovered Tropic. It wasn’t perfect, by no means, but it worked for me. It was also around this time I started to learn about the nasty ingredients found in drugstore products, such as Sulfates and Parabens, and how they can affect the human body. With this in mind, I became a little obsessed with making my own, pure products which I would know exactly what was inside them. I made a list of all the products I needed to replace and then that’s when I stumbled upon Tropic. 

After being introduced by the brand through a friend of a friend, I have quickly become immersed in the world of Tropic and am totally obsessed with their products. I’ve also found some amazing green beauty brands which I can’t wait to get my hands on some of their products to try. 

This past year I have really focused on skincare and now, feeling so content with the natural products I use, I think it’s time to conquer makeup -stay tuned! 

If you know of any natural or mineral makeup brands, please comment below! 
Cheerio for now! 

If you haven’t already read my post about the brand, then you can do so here
If you would like to read about any of Tropic’s products I have featured on here, you can do so here

Book Review: Hounds & Valleys

The Hound of Baskervilles & The Valley of Fear, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 

 

Confession time. I have never read a Sherlock Holmes novel -well until this book I hadn’t. That probably sounds shocking to some seen as I read so much but it wasn’t until now that I had come across any that I truly wanted to read. This book edition includes The Hound of Baskervilles and The Valley of Fear. I immensely enjoyed The Hound of Baskervilles and the first part of The Valley of Fear but the second part I found quite difficult to get into and so, I weren’t that fussed about it. Both novels involve both Holmes and Watson trying to solve perplexing crimes that they’ve been told of. 


The novel, The Hound of Baskervilles, revolves around the murder of Sir Charles Baskerville, the legendary curse of the hound that haunts the Baskervilles and Holmes trying to prevent the new master, Sir Henry Baskerville, coming to the same fate as his predecessor. As Holmes and Watson unravel the mystery, events, and characters within this tale, so to do the readers. This made for a quick read for me, mostly because of how exciting and gripping the tale was. 

The first part of The Valley of Fear was also a fast read for the same reason. The story drew me in and I felt enveloped within the story, wanting to know more and more until I reached the final verdict. As I mentioned, I wasn’t all that fussed with the second part. In comparison to the first, I found it a little slow to start and I didn’t feel as drawn in as I previously had. Though I would still recommend the first part and The Hound of Baskervilles to any who enjoy intriguing puzzles or ‘murder mystery’ type things. I can already see The Hound of Baskervilles becoming one of those books I return to continuously. 

Have you ever read these books? What did you think? Comment Below
Cheerio for now! 

Podcast’s I’m loving

Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts. In fact, I couldn’t even name any new songs because I have traded my radio/Spotify listening for podcasts. There are so many different podcasts out there to choose from but these are some of my favourites…

  • Elise gets crafty: This is probably my favourite podcast of all time. I have to admit I am playing catch up as I only discovered her podcast at the beginning of summer but nonetheless I am absolutely loving it. As it says in the title, Elise hosts a weekly podcast featuring other creatives. The podcast usually discusses creative small business’ but sometimes derails to other creative topics too. I personally find this podcast so inspiring; every time I’ve listened to an episode I feel so driven and motivated. 
  • LadyGang: In all honesty, this is one that I haven’t got into until just recently but what I’ve heard so far -I love. The podcast involves the trio of Keltie Knight, Jac Vanek and Becca Tobin who are joined with a different celebrity each week to chat about life in Hollywood. In translation, if you are looking for a hilarious, down to earth podcast where no topic is out of bounds then this is the one for you. The laughter and true celeb stories within this podcast are so infectiously funny that you can’t help but have a little giggle with it too. As I am a huge Center Stage fan I, of course, loved the episode with Amanda Schull; but another favourite of mine has been the Ashley Tisdale one too. You can have a look at some of their episodes and guests here
  • Ladies Who Lunch: This podcast, involving YouTubers Ingrid Nelson and Kate Valdes, is probably the rawest podcast I have listened to. Discussing topics’ more off the beaten track, like sexuality, stereotypes, the structure of marriage, jealousy and envy as well as introversion, it’s hard not to love these honest episodes about topics we so rarely talk about. Having said this, the energy that both Nelson and Valdes radiate around these topics are light, bubbly and friendly which makes these heavy topics easier to listen to whilst doing anything. 
  • Just a Spoonful: Hosted by Kaitlyn Plyley, this podcast is more of a monthly thing or whenever possible as it revolves around those living with chronic illness and disability. Both Kaitlyn and featured guests talk about how they live, what they live for whilst also having a giggle and swear here and there. As someone who suffers from multiple chronic illnesses’, this really is a breath of fresh air for me to find something easy to listen to but also relatable on a personally level. 

What Podcasts have you been loving lately? Share below
Cheerio for now! 

The Power of Tamanu

Tropic products - Tamanu Rescue and Tamanu Healing balm


Tamanu has quickly become my skin saviour for pretty much everything, Dry skin, eczema, scars, stretch marks, bruises, stings, insect bites -everything! I use both these products; the balm on my body and I keep the rescue in my bag for emergencies. Both are 100% naturally derived so you don’t have to worry about all those nitty-gritty ingredients you don’t want your skin absorbing.

Tropic - Tamanu healing Balm, intensive treatment for scars and damaged skin


Tamanu Healing Balm
The super-healing powers and sheer strength of this product are the stuff miracles are made out of and its’ nourishing formulation of Shea, Cocoa and Monoi Butter gives the most soothing, smooth and luxurious feel to your skin.

To use, just apply as much or as little as you see fit to damaged or dry areas.

Tropic - Tamanu Rescue Healing balm tube


Tamanu Rescue
This product is pretty much the same as the Healing Balm; though the consistency is slightly different. The consistency is quite silky and a lot smoother than the balm: my guess is so that it can be easily squeezed out of the pocket-sized tube.

You can use this the same as the balm, but where this is smoother in consistency I like to dab some onto my chapped lips. You only need to use a little dot when you use it -a little goes a long way!

To read more about the brand Tropic, simply click here
If you’d like to take a browse at other Tropic products I have posted about, click here

Have you ever used Tamanu? What did you think?
Cheerio for now!