Thursday 31 July 2014

Today I Got All The Bargains! (Haul Post)

I'm just home and I'm far too pleased with all the bargains I got today, so I have to share them. Boots are only amazing for the offers and deals recently, so naturally when Seventeen were doing a buy one get one half price offer I couldn't resist getting the new falsifeye HD mascara  (€8.89) and the new stay time 25 hour foundation (€8.19).

The sister and myself were having a grand aul natter the other day and from her recommendation I got a Nivea sensitive 3 in 1 micellar cleansing water (€2.74 normally €5.49) and Nivea double effect eye make up remover (€2.49 normally €4.99). She also suggested I try the Garnier ulta-purifying fresh scrub (€3.59 normally €5.39). From reading reviews I had to try the Aussie dry shampoo (€4.32 normally €6.49) and I have been eyeing up all the Bleach products since they hit the shelves soo.. I got the reincarnation mask (€7.99). Before you think I lost the run of myself, I had a €10 gift voucher and a lovely €9.20 saved up on my card - oh happy days!  

Next I wondered into the Body Shop to try grab another bargain before their sales ends. Yes the Body Shop has a sale on, run! I got an almond shower gel the other week and decided to get another before they went back to the normal price (€5 normally €8.95) as they are just, nom nom nom. I also got the raspberry body scrub (€10 normally €18.95) the week before as well. Today as I was paying I picked up a little tea tree oil face wash (€2 normally €4) and the girl asked if I would like to sign up for a loyalty card that was on offer for €4 instead of the normal €10. Lads, did I get a bargain or did I get a bargain! She was kind enough to give me some samples along with my card too. I couldn't recommend the Body Shop in Liffey Valley enough, theres no scary intimidating security guards there to frighten you out of the shop like they do on Grafton St!

Lastly I nipped into Dunnes on the hunt for an exfoliating foot packet yokie that Nurse Fancy Pants talked about in her post over here. It was €4 but if Chloe says they are worth it, you damn well get 3! On my way to pay I spotted this necklace that was reduced (€4.50 normally €9) and they have nearly all of their jewelry reduced at the moment. Just being the enabling person that I am mentioning that.. 

Any bargains catch your eye?

Wednesday 30 July 2014

'The Little Shop Of Crafts' - How Not To Run Your Irish Business

I'm a huge fan of finding new Irish businesses to get to know, love and then get to gush to family, friends or blog land about! But when I come across such an unprofessional business I can't hold my tongue. Especially when they clearly don't want business with the attitudes they have.

'The Little Shop Of  Crafts' (as seen on their shop front) 'Just By Me' wedding and occasion creations (as seen on their social media and their leaflets) is a shop located in Naas, Co. Kildare just off the main street. They apparently specialise in unique handcrafted designs - something I have yet to see. Last Friday afternoon my mother went in and asked a anniversary card to be commissioned, being told it would be ready Monday afternoon for roughly €10-€15. This was going to be the main present from my sisters very first wedding anniversary as she is a lover of beautiful cards, so forking out crazy money for more then just a Hallmark card was an important part. Tuesday came round (my mother asked for it to be picked up after Monday) and the card was still not ready, however she was assured that Wednesday it would be ready for her.

Cue today, Wednesday. I was sitting in the car when my mother appeared in tears - now can I just point out that my mother is not dramatic or easily brought to tears (unlike myself, oh hey The Notebook!) but she was hardly able to tell me what had happened. Not only was the card not ready, but the woman who owned the shop was next door in the hairdressers. After being called out - how unprofessional! - she simply told my mother she was getting her hair done and had yet to even begin the card. She suggested she could start it later after her hair was finished.... 

I went into the shop myself to inquire what was going on, perhaps the dear aul mammy got something wrong? I was met by what I could only describe as the most aggressive, unhelpful and rude customer service I have ever come across. I was thrown a leaflet and told that I could contact the woman in question if I had a problem. A little shocked, I asked if they had any social media where I could contact them and was told no. Lets pause there a quick sec and head to google. Ah look their Facebook page and confusingly enough, their other Facebook page!

I'm not impressed by their carry on at all. They are a small Irish business that should be more then happy to have customers. Not head off to the hairdressers, not bothering to actually do the commission or at least make contact to say they weren't able to get it done in time. Or god forbid, an apology! Their lack of professionalism is laughable. From their spelling mistake filled leaflets to their confusing shop name. What the hell are they called?! I can't say that I will ever set foot in the shop again, nor would I recommend them to anyone as I would be afraid that they would yet again, not make the commissions and have customers let down. Or even worse, bring them to tears with their aggression and rude manners. This sort of behavior bothers me so much from businesses that actually have shops in busy towns when there are so many amazing people online who are nothing but helpful, friendly and professional but might lack the financial backing to open their own place. SceneDesigns and DoodleMoose Designs are two perfect examples of fantastic Irish card businesses that I personally know I can rely on.  

Monday 28 July 2014

Book Review: The Good Girl

Not to belittle the content on NetGallery, (or whats out there in the book shops) but its not often I come across a book that makes me wish I hadn't read it so fast. That it wasn't over quite so soon. This was indeed one of those books and to make it even more shocking, it was a debut novel, this author has never published a book before. Even before I tell you about the book I strongly recommend you put this on your reading list, its something special. I was kindly given the chance to read this before its release date. You can pre-order it for its release date on the 1st of August here. 

Mia Dennet is the daughter of a judge and a 'home maker' mother. Her older sister followed in her fathers steps and has made him proud, while Mia is an inner city art teacher, the black sheep of the family. Mia is currently dating a near non existent boyfriend, who one night calls last minute to cancel a date instead of meeting her at the bar where she takes the call from. Mia instead leaves with a smooth talking stranger after a few too many drinks, thinking that he will be a safe one night stand, but Colin is anything but. 

Colin has been following Mia for days now. He knows where she lives, works, who she sees, where she gets her groceries. ''I don't know the colour of her eyes or what they look like when shes scared, but I will.'' His job is simple. Kidnap her and deliver her to his employers, but somewhere along the way Colin decides things are not going to go as planned. This wild extortion plot just went off the rails and Mia isn't about to walk free. Instead they hide out at a secluded cabin in Minnesota and Mia is close to loosing her mind from fear and trying to figure out what this man wants with her. Will Mia's mother Eve and Detective Gabe Hoffman be able to find her?

This was such a great read. The story is told with each chapter going back and forth from about four main characters, before and after Mia's kidnapping. It sounds like it could be hard to follow, but its really well done, clearly marked and written perfectly. It flowed but parts were a little drawn out - maybe that could just have been my own impatience in wanting to find out what happened next in the story. I loved how the author managed to sway my emotions along with the characters and I was literally left sitting on the edge of my seat at times. Despite the simple idea of a girl being kidnapped and held by a man, it was full of twists and kept me eager to turn the next page, while also establishing good side stories that interconnected so well with the main story. My little heart was fit to burst and yes, by the end of the story I was in tears. Oh all the emotions!

I was blown away by the story line, I wasn't expecting anything that happened and the twists of the plot still have me reeling from them. Just wow - and its not often I'll ever say that about a book. Its rare for me to find a really good book that I have nothing negative to say after reading it and rarer still that I'm more then ready to tell anyone who will listen to read it. Consider this post me shoving the book at you and demanding you give it a go!

Sunday 27 July 2014

H'suan Wen Hua

Recently I've been on a mad one looking for a really good hair mask. Lads, I was even prepared to fork out the big bucks for it - thats how bad my hair has gotten. With memories of beautiful soft hair after using Lush products and a lovely suggestion from Lesley ( on twitter, I decided to go into Lush and get a mask. I know I'm still on a ban, but in my defense I've bought maybe 5 things since I started it, which for me is really impressive considering how much I would normally buy in there..

Anyway! I tried h'suan wen hua a few years ago and I remembered not getting any decent results, but I was totally willing to try again considering how bad my hair is. The one thing I forgot was the awful smell of strong cinnamon that made me feel sick while using it, but none the less I was determent to see if this could help! Apart from cinnamon, it has eggs, bananas, avocados and bay leaves all packed into one pot. These ingredients have lots of oils and are great for moisturising and softening the hair, with the cinnamon to stimulate the scalp. Its a lovely consistency - not too thick that it wont spread easy, but not watery enough that it will just slide off your hair. Its just right!

Its recommend that once you liberally apply the mask to dry hair that you leave it for about 20 minutes. I left mine in for close to two hours as I really wanted all the good stuff to sink into my hair and work its magic. On the back of the pot it says that if your hair is in really bad condition its advised to use the treatment once a week for six weeks, which is ok if you have short hair. However if your like myself and your almost sitting on your hair then this will be a pricey treatment as each pot is €11.50.  I used two thirds of the pot in my hair purely as I didn't want to use it all in one go and there was plenty in my hair already. 

The end result? I wasn't overly impressed (yet again) with my hair after I washed it out and let it dry. I think that I would need to do this treatment a few times before I noticed any major improvements, but I do think for someone thats just looking to perk their hair up a little its the perfect product. On the downside, it took about three or four washes before the horrible smell of cinnamon was gone - but my granny thought it was only gorgeous so I'm sure a lot of you out there would enjoy the smell. (Or maybe my granny is just a bit mad, like me!)

If you do decide to try this out or any other Lush product that comes in a black pot, remember to wash it out and keep it. For every five clean empty pots you bring back to Lush for them to recycle, you get a free face mask of your choice, fancy!

Saturday 26 July 2014

Dream Dots

 If you come round these parts often, you'll know I have what I like to call a join the dots face. I'm in my early 20's and still suffer dreadfully with spots of all kinds. Theres always a constant battle to find the latest lotion or potion to try out on my skin, hoping that it will cure or at least reduce my ever growing spot covered face. Sometimes things work ok, sometimes I'm left wondering why I paid so much money for a product that gave me no results and at the end of the day sometimes I ignore my face and just slapping on extra make up. Is there anything out there that actually works and you can see the results? Well lads and ladies, I'm back on the hunt again today.

The brand spankin' new *Dream Dots have just hit the market and I was intrigued to try them out. How could a tiny plaster-like product magically get rid of your spots, thats just crazy talk! (y'all cray cray in here! - don't judge me, I've been watching too much Netflix.) There are 24 little dream dots in a pack that are nicely sealed up and a little information leaflet that show you how the dot works and how to apply. All you need to do before bed is cleanse, peel off a little dot and stick it onto your spot, simple. Depending on the size of the spot, it might take up to three dots to get rid of it. You can also use the dream dots during the day and cover them up with make up, though I've not tried this yet as I like to deal with my face demons at night time.

The pictures below are woeful for two reasons. The first obviously because you have a nice close up shot of my spots, mmm sexy.. And the second, because the before and after shots of the spot I tried the dot on can't be clearly seen properly (ggrrr, feck sake!) Your just going to have to take my word for it when I tell you I had a crater of a spot on my neck for about four days and it wasn't reducing at all. Ok so maybe because I plastered it in make up and picked at it a lot didn't help.. But it was setting up a permanent home there! I put on a dream dot for two nights and not only did the dot stop me from picking at it, it helped to reduce it so so much. In the morning I could visibly notice the difference and was well impressed.  

So we know the little yokes to actually work, but would I recommend them and buy them myself? In some ways yes, I would totally recommend them to someone who had a small outbreak of spots and perhaps there was an important event that they really wanted clear skin for. But at €15 for 24, I wouldn't be running out to stock up on them every week. As someone with a lot of spots, I could easily use the entire pack in one night and that is just not value for money.

There were also a few things I noted when using them over the past week. The first is that not all my dots were as sticky as others and twice they came off my skin during the night. However on the other end of the scale those that did stick on were sometimes hard to get off and also very sore. It was like ripping a plaster off, ouch! Perhaps the dots will be updated in months to come and this problem will be resolved.

To round up, for the craters that pop up, I would definitely use one of theses, but for the price of a box I would be more inclined to get a cream for my many face uglies. Oh and on a very positive note, the Dream Dots site is very easy to navigate and also their social media sites are regularly updated and they interact well with the public - something shockingly enough that isn't done with a lot of companies so its really great to note. 

Do you think you would use Dream Dots? 

*I did not pay for this item, it was a PR gift.  Please see my disclaimer here. 

Thursday 24 July 2014

Juicy Jewels Vivid Rose

I've talked at length about sex, positions and consent in past posts - thats grand. But I have yet to do a full on 'female' sex toy review, so here it is. Bare with me a little if you can, this is brand new to me (the blogging about toys that is) and if I'm honest I'm a tad scared. Its all fine and dandy to giggle over a fun pound shop Dealz bargain or a new position, but to go waving a dildo or two around on the internet? Its safe to say I'll never see the gates of heaven as I have been told in a recent email. (Please keep sending them by the way, they brighten my day considerably and make me giggle!) But when I was approached by Secrets Ireland to try out this, I couldn't say no. I'm a big fan of this company, not only because they kindly gave a talk and demo at my blogger meet up, but because they always bend over backways to help if you email or call with questions. Not only about the toys (which I have to say they have a huge knowledge on) but also happy to answer sex questions. Take a look at the blog here too. They do free postage (oh yeah, love a bit of free postage, me!) and they have plain packaging so nothing about what goodies are in your box is known to anyone but yourself. 

First to the name, 'Juicy Jewels vivid rose' By PipeDream Products. I know theres a lot of cringe worthy names slapped on toys out there, but this one really made me facepalm. I've had the same cringing reactions from friends after I've told them what its called, its just that bad. But embarrassing, badly thought out name aside, I'm a fan of the packaging. Theres nothing I like to see more then a nice air tight, totally sealed toy. Its nothing over the top and they have, thank god, spared us the half naked girl, mid orgasm with the help of whatever toy they are trying to sell on the front. Bonus points in my book! 

The instructions on the back tell you that its 'made from super-soft phthalate-free jelly' which is always important in any toy you use, silicone and phthalate free is the way to go, however the 'jelly' is new to me, although it is 100% body safe. Its claims to be waterproof, have multi speed vibrations and is easy to clean. You also need 2AA batteries that are not included - remember the tv remote if your really stuck!

The vibrator itself is a light pink colour that I must admit, I'm a fan of. Its covered in veins and ridges along with a rose petal shaped part near the base for clitoris stimulation. Its easy to bend and move - but not so easy that its structure wont stand straight on its own. What I'm not a fan of is having to screw the bottom in order to turn it on/off and to regulate the speeds. This always causes problems in general with these types of toys. Its sometimes hard to reach, it can turn itself on when its put away (whatever is that buzzing sound coming from your bedside table?!) and then it can just be hard to manage in general. I would always suggest that you totally unscrew these types of toy when storing them, it makes for less potential awkward situations.  

Apart from having to screw the bottom for speeds, the main problem I have with this is that the vibrating part of the the toy is located at the very top, which means that all the vibrations and sensations are being mainly felt there and not anywhere near the rose petal shaped part that helps to stimulate the clit. No matter how I tired (and my god, did I try) I just couldn't get it to work out for me. This could be due to the very possible chance that I'm all about the clit and if it can't stimulate that then Huston we have a problem.  If the vibrating part of the toy was located nearer to the bottom I think this might have been a very positive post, however I can understand that the space is being occupied by the batteries. Now saying that, there are a wide range of different vibrating strengths which I was very impressed with. The one negative thing though is the noise, honestly you would not want to have thin walls when using this thing. I'm a massive fan of quiet toys and unfortunately not every product will have that bonus. 

On a much more positive note, this was my first time trying out a jelly toy and I really enjoyed something a little different from the hard plastics (bold I know) and silicones of most products out there. It was extremely easy to clean and heavy enough to threaten a good smack with - you'll eat all your veg and take out the bin now, wont you!

Overall I didn't like this vibrator personally. As with any screwing functioning toys, they are hard to work and annoying and I feel the placement of the vibrating part could be rethought,  but thats not to say others will agree with me. I know I'm slightly bias (or at least my clit is) but I also do like how easy it was to clean and the novelty of a jelly toy. For €36 I don't think its going to break the bank and if you don't like the sound of this particular vibrator then I would suggest you still try out a jelly toy, they are totally different from other things out there! Have a goo at them here.

*I did not pay for this item, it was a PR gift.  Please see my disclaimer here. 

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Soap&Glory Sugar Crush Collection

I've been a massive fan of Soap&Glory for years now but sometimes the S&G signature scent can be a little overpowering and not to my likes. This is totally my own fault though, I've used far too many of their products and now I'm reaching for their other scents in the range. I guess you can have too much of a good thing! Right now I'm really in love with the sugar crush collection, its totally different from other scents in the range and I really love the slightly summery feeling it gives me when I have a shower in the morning.

First I have to talk to you about the gorgeous body wash. Like with all S&G things, I love all the bright pink packaging with these products, they make my heart flutter a little. I've taken this body wash out of the shower recently purely as I don't want to use it all up so quickly! This is the fresh and foamy body wash in a handy 500ml bottle with a pump. It smells like lime but sweet too, its not overpowering and stays on your skin after you've finished in the shower, something that a lot of body washes don't do. It foams up well and gives lots of bubbles. It also contains radiance boosting kiwi juice just to make your shower time fun even fancier. You can use this as bath foam too, but I've yet to try it out, preferring to keep it for the shower in the morning, This is €9 in Boots. 

To compliment the body wash I use the sugar crush body buttercream. This is the thickest and most rich moisturiser I've used in a very long time, its nothing short of utterly beautiful. I realise in the warm summer months not everyone is going to want a heavy thick cream which is understandable, but keep it on the wishlist for the cooler months, its worth it. I have used this so much in the past two months and have barely made it to the halfway point in the big 300ml tub. Once the cream hits the heat of skin it spreads easy and a little goes a long way which I was genuinely surprised about to begin with, thinking I would have to scoop most of it out in one go. This is the heavy duty kind of moisturiser that cures the sand paper elbows and knees and makes the rest of the skin silky soft - if I do say so myself! Its packed with shea and cocoa nut balm, kiwi juice water, lime and almond oils. You can again get this in Boots for 14.75 which I would consider pricey normally, but I have got so long from it without finding the bottom yet, I would say your skin will thank you. If not your pocket!

There is a body scrub in this range too, but I'll be talking about that soon in another post, so look out for that! From having a quick goo on the Boots site I've noticed all these products are in a 3 for 2 offer, so you could try them all out and save some money at the same time. (And get a few Boots points, man I love those things!) So theres another excuse for all the product junkies out there to nip into the shops and be tempted!

Whats your favourite S&G product?

Friday 18 July 2014

Book Review: Prime Deception

I was approached by the author Cary Jones to read and review her new book Prime Deception via Net Gallery. I was really delighted to be asked to review a book as it would be my very first and not just one that I had bought and read myself. I naturally accepted straight away and downloaded it onto my kindle - a really handy function that a lot of the books on Net Gallery have. I'm not a big fan of reading a long book from my laptop, major square eyes!

This book is in the romantic thriller category, which means I was even more delighted to be asked. I'm mad about a bit of romance or a little erotica, me. (And don't go tutting, I know everyone loves a bit of a dirty read!) The book starts with Lorna who has been having an affair with the Prime Minster of Britain for the last six months and now she has committed suicide, or so says the coroners report after shes found dead in her car. But her twin sister Laurie is certain that her sister wouldn't kill herself, she was too full of life and loved living. Laurie heads off to London to seek out the truth, which means that she has to ask some hard questions that aren't easy to get an answer for. Unless your the Prime Minster that is. 

I have to say, when I read the blurb for the book I thought it sounded like it could be a really good read. The above paragraph has given nothing away about the story thats not in the blurb by the way, which I find a little odd as you could almost guess the entire story just from that alone. None the less I enjoyed the concept of the story, how well the reader got to know the characters and how the story developed. That was all good and fine up to a point when the story started to drag. It hit a point where the same sort of information was been fed; each character was sad that Lorna had died... How they had to wait for new information.. How alike the twins looked... How sad everyone was.. How they had to wait for new information. Did I mention how... Yeah, you get my point. There was one moment in the book where Laurie complains to the Prime Minster about them getting nowhere and how waiting was painful and making her impatient, which I had to laugh at considering the irony.  

In the end, I actually skipped a lot of pages which is something I never do. The book itself is 304/248 pages long - depending on what site you read it from, but as I had it on my kindle it was 3085 pages long because I have the letters massive (I can never find my glasses!). I skipped 80 pages near the end only to discover I could still understand the story perfectly and nothing much had changed. (Someone do the maths on the page count and understand that I skipped a feckin' load of pages.) There was an odd twist at the end which was great for the story considering it lost my attention with the repetition of the story line. 

Overall I thought it was a good read despite long dragged out parts and the weird pervy parts about twins, I'm glad I read it. Would I recommend it to a friend? I doubt it very much. You would have to be the sort to appreciate a book that had equal good and bad parts to it - But then again I know a surprising number of people who enjoy books like that! You can download it on Amazon here.

*I did not pay for this item, it was a PR gift.  Please see my disclaimer here. 

Thursday 17 July 2014

Puffy The Bag Eye Slayer

An age ago I got these Anatomical puffy the eye bag slayer wake-up under eye patches in one of my subscription boxes. The little pack got shoved to the back of my draws and were soon forgotten about them until I was having a root the other day and found them. The little pack had two sets of patches and so I tested one out, for the craic! You simply apply them under your eyes and wait half an hour. The patches are meant to reduce the puffiness from under your eyes and leave you looking a sight better ( - see what I did there? Man, I'm so punny!) as they are filled with vitamins and collagen.

The first thing I noticed about the patches were that they looked and kind of felt like condoms. I know, I feel a little odd saying things that felt like condoms were under my eyes for half an hour, but it happened. They were easy to apply but the liquid that they sit in inside the packet went all over the place. Not even slightly fun to be as clumsy as moi!

I have nothing to say about how I look in the photos below. Theres no point in trying to fix your skin if your just going to cover it in make up (and open your eyes more it seems!) for photos. No, feck that. The first photo is before they have been applied. I had one on my eye before I remembered to take before and after photos, so just ignore that. The photo underneath is 30 minutes after and I think there was a slight difference from just looking at them both. Personally I thought they did work in decreasing the puffy look and therefore slightly decreasing the dark circles, bonus points!

Would I go and buy them? I'm undecided. They did work in decreasing the puffiness a bit but I know there are lots of these type of products on the market, which makes me wonder if there is something better out there for my money. However I am a fan of the Anatomicals line and love all the packaging and mad names they give to their products. Also they are relatively cheap and cheerful at just under €7 from Cloud10Beauty where I normally get all my Anatomicals things.

 Is this something you would get, or do you think its a waste of money?

Wednesday 16 July 2014

Bia Beauty Lemon Myrtle Hand Cream

If theres something I love, its a product that not only works, but one that you can physically see the results of in just a few days. Its not often you find a product like that, trust me I have a house full of potions and lotions to prove it! When this lovely little heavy 60ml pot of *Bia Beauty cream landed on my door step, I was hesitant to use it. Lemon Myrtle was not my idea of a nice sent, but I was so wrong. Its a lemony and pleasantly sweet fragrance with an all natural ingredients list of 'rich shea butter, soothing calendula and protective beeswax'. I can't begin to tell you how thick and rich this little pot of cream is! Honestly, I was so surprised when I poked a finger in to test it the first time. Of course its all down to the beeswax and the shea butter, but oh my you really have to try it in person to understand how satisfying it is. This hand cream is for all skin types.

Now I have to tell you a dirty little secret. After a few days of going from less then silky hands (hard skin on the sides of my fingers, damaged from bleach, too much time in chlorine filled swimming pools and general abuse) to a noticeably changed softer and more loved little paws it gave me an idea. I used it on my feet. Yup, I used hand cream on my feet! (But like, no need to gossip about it, thanks.) If theres one part of my body that I hate the most and ignore totally its my feet. I have a fear of them and occasionally make myself ill from remembering I own a pair means that foot products are never high on my must have list. And because of that I have sandpaper feet. I mean holy god, I'd jump out of bed in fright if I rubbed up against my feet in bed at night (ughhh, mental image.) So I tried a few different moisturisers in the hopes that they would resemble feet once again with no luck. That was until I decided to slap a bit of Bia Beauty hand cream on them. Seriously, I'm on my 4th day of using it and its worked a treat. Now both sets of the end of my limbs are silky. I tell ya, I'm a fancy girl, me!

Since receiving this over two weeks ago, I've been using it daily and barely made a dent in the pot. I think this is well worth getting, if not for the lack of dent making you will make (what?! Ah you know what I mean) then for the fact that you will have silky bits in a few days, whatever bits of you you choose to cream up! For those of you that are subscribed to Chic Treat Club you will already have gotten your mitts on this pot of wonder in last months box. But for those of you who have yet to try it out you can find it over here. 

Another reason to love Bia Beauty is that its supporting an Irish business all the way from Co. Cork. Tracey started this as a project while in college and sold the products she made locally at farmers markets. The response was so positive that she created more and more products and so Bia Beauty was born. Now theres your little bit of inspiration for the day as well as soft hands. 

*I did not pay for this item, it was a PR gift.  Please see my disclaimer here. 

Monday 14 July 2014

Cat The Sexpert?

I took a crazy leap a few months ago, in the form of writing about sex related topics for all who care to see. (Oh, hey mom!) Since then I have, for the most part, not looked back too much. Yes I get judged, I get the occasional email saying I am a dreadful person and even one or two lovely people taking the time out of their day to read my posts and then email me to say they will pray for my soul - I kid you not! (big shout out to you guys by the way.) And yes, I get hit on online because I must be 'that' kind of girl if I'm openly writing about sex. 

I kind of expected the villagers to picket at the kitchen door, sure. But what I wasn't expecting was the baffling amount of emails asking all sorts of questions. Lads and ladies, your woes and worries even have me stumped at times! I am in no way an agony aunt or even any good at this sex/relationship stuff. It boggles my mind just as much as it does the rest of the world. But it seems a fair few of you think I'm the woman for the job none the less. I always email back to try and help out or suggest things and I wanted to write a post to talk about the general sorts of topics that came up. This is non gender specific so if I target it at a particular sex, please do assume the same for the other sex too. And once again, I can't stress enough how unqualified I am here. These are just my ideas and thoughts, nothing at all to go by!

Be Confidant About Yourself
I personally feel the first and most important thing is feeling comfortable and confidant about yourself before you can begin to bring someone else into the picture. Theres no use in hopping into bed with someone, demand the lights be turned off and then close your eyes hoping for the best while making the appropriate noises at the right moments. Why bother at all if your not going to get just as much out of the experience as the other person? Take a step back for a moment and look at the situation. There is someone who likes you enough to want to get naked with you in the first place. I don't think they would do that if they didn't think you were physically (and perhaps mentally) the bees knees! 

Be Confidant Sexually
Do you know instantly what the other person likes sexually? Of course you don't. Just like they have no clue what your tastes are. So know what you like and talk about it. Explore yourself and find out what you love, what turns you on and along the way you might just find something new and fun to add to your list of loves. Personally the one place I am totally confidant in my life is in bed. Apart from sleeping (which I am a pro at, might I just add!) I love being in control of myself, knowing what I love and how to ask what the other person enjoys. All this can put your partner at ease too, a little communication goes a long way. Note though, that knowing what you want and like is totally different to being a dominant personality. A lot of people wrongly assume this so always talk openly about that sort of thing. 

You might scoff a little at this if you are in a long term relationship, but have you sat down with your other half recently and asked what they like in bed? Is there something that they still do months/years on that just doesn't do it for you or vise versa? Go on, have that chat!

Don't Be Afraid To Say NO
A frightening number of people who emailed me talked about not wanting to have sex when they are tired or just not in the mood with their partner. There is nothing ever wrong with that. (Unless of course you feel it could be a medial issue, such as a hormone disorder, erectile dysfunction, etc. In which case please talk to your GP.)  Not wanting to have sex for whatever reason is nothing to be upset or ashamed about and it is certainly not ok to 'just to it anyway'. If you don't want to, don't be pressured into it. If you have willingly agreed to have sex and something goes wrong/hurts/etc then asking to stop should never be an issue. You can talk about it and try again another time. There are lots of hours in the day and plenty more weeks in the months. No means no and if your partner ignores your wishes, you might want to think about getting yourself away from that person as soon as possible.

Trying Something New
Its always a little tricky to introduce the idea of something new in a relationship. What the person could say or how they will react is always scary. But if you never ask, you will never know. If the person agrees and is positive about the whole thing, great. If not, then maybe you could talk about why so you can understand their objections better. Explain why you like it and suggest that you both find something you'd like to try together. If you are in search of a toy for yourself or for your partner and don't want to venture into a sex toy shop, then have a look online at the vast range of toys and sites. Most sex toy companies will ship your parcel without any signs of the companies name or whats inside the box. They will also have a 'normal' discreet name on your credit card bill. So not even the bank will know what sort of goodies you've bought. If your still unsure about how discreet the company is, then email them. Any good and reliable company will have no problem answering your questions. - Love me some good pr! 

This Thing Called Kink
You like some things that would be considered 'kinky' or not to be shared lightly with others, thats fine. Everyone has their own likes and what turns you on might not turn the next person on. Like so many things, in 2014 kink is still considered something to be brushed under the carpet, which is sad. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting it should be ok to shove your sexual preferences into everyones face, but I don't think it should be something to be ashamed of. Over the years I have found that there are so many people who have the same interests and likes. There is a wonderful kink and BDSM community online and in real life. In Dublin alone there are kink nights and private events you can attend to socialise with like minded people. (No, these are not sex parties or orgies.) Grow your interests, read up about it and join the kink community, even if its just online. Always be proud of who you are. (and not just narrowed to in the sexy way either!)

Don't Rush Things
One or two of the emails I got were about wanting and 'needing' to be in relationships or indeed even to get married. You could be 21 or 51, age does not and should not factor in any way into a relationship when it comes to the pressures of commitment. There are so many millions of people out there in the world, sit back and take that in. There has to be at least 7, if not 100 more that you will find equally as attractive as you find them. They might want to date/marry you just as much as you want to date/marry them. So calm down and let it happen. If the person you are with right now isn't the one then thats ok. There will be others.  

I hope this has helped or even just a fun read for you guys. I'm always happy to try and help if someone emails me, but I don't think I'd make a very good agony aunt! For anyone thats feeling a little down right now, have a read of this post I did a while back. x

Saturday 12 July 2014

Penneys, Boots And Other Random Bits Haul

I know I've just done a haul post, but that was for books and this haul only has one book in it. So that doesn't count at all. Right? Grand! I went off to Penneys in search of some new leggings the other day and naturally spent 'only 5 minutes' - An hour later I came out with half the shop. I'm not even slightly sorry. I got a load of new knickers too and if you've been round these parts long enough, you'll know I always show you my new knickers. I'm nice like that you see. 

First off, I went into Boots for only hair stuff and walked out with only the hair stuff. Lads I don't think I was very well. I needed a new shampoo and conditioner, Boots own brand smells divine and it was two for €3. Sorted! They didn't have my normal hair dye in stock (the blue box? I'm great with the names..) so I picked up the fancy new Bleach London that seems to only be in stock in the Liffey Valley branch. Boo for that if your interested in getting your mitts on some, but you can get it online. This was €6.69 and the range is drool worthy. Seriously, go. Look at it all. Cry a little if you must. Its a brand of beauty.

Picked up a sneaky €3.99 chicklit in the value book shop in town and a Maleficent Funko Pop figure in Dublin Comic Book shop. €15 but would you look at it! No? I'll be in the corner.. 

Then I went a little crazy in Penneys. I needed it all, Honestly. I got two gorgeous necklaces, the colourful bead one was €6 and the arrow, feather and triangle one was €3. I couldn't leave the pink roses for €2 in the shop either. They called to me. It was meant to be.

I got all the knickers. Cats, stars, butterfiles. Oh my little heart is happy. They were all about €2 and the lovely (if I do say so myself) royal blue bra was €5. I has a matching thong but I already used that to floss my teeth with. Ha! Me? Thong! Would you go way outta' that!

You can never go wrong with €3 for a pair of shoes that, yes ok. Will fall apart in about 10 minutes but they were nice. The leggings that were €2.50 each and a weird sheer material black floaty kimono that was €9 were all too bored and hard to photograph. But you know what all that jazz looks like. 

I needed a mirror for my bag after months of squinting at my reflection on my phone and this owl one was happy making for €2.50. I also got €3 cupcake headphones. They don't give amazing sound but for that price and the fact that when I break them in the near future I wont feel too bad.  

Two quick repurchases were my beloved Catrice concealer palette €3.79 and my Wet'n'Wild pressed powder for €3.99. I also nabbed a Garnier eye makeup remover for only €2.30. Its €2.86 in Boots - its the little victories! 

Anything catch your eye from my haul? 
Or have you bought any bargains recently?

Wednesday 9 July 2014

A Little Book Haul

I spend my time collecting books, its something of a problem when the house is coming down with them. But I just can't resist book smell and one that I haven't red before, or a cover that I've not seen before! Over the past little while I've picked up some bargains and I just have to share them with you all, so maybe you might venture out to pick some up yourself. I'm sure I'll do reviews on some of these, so keep the eyeballs open.

First off are these three books that I got from The Secret BookShop just off Grafton St. This is a little gem of a place that you would easily walk by and not notice its big plain black door. You wonder down a long corridor thats covered in band posters and ad's for gigs and suddenly your neck deep in books of all sorts. These are all second hand, but I think thats the best kind of book smell. This shop also has a big selection of vinyl records and some cds, very cool if your into collecting them.

I robbed (nicely) this massive copy of The Frankenstein Omnibus from a friend. I was nearly holding her by the legs leaning over a stack of books to reach this beaut and after much discussion we decided I'll get it but she can totally read it. Best friends huh? Pretty savage. This was about €5. I picked up Women About Town by Laura Jacobs for €4.50 and Paid For by Rachel Moran for €5 too. I don't think I did too badly in the Secret book shop and I've no doubt I'll be in for lots more in the future. I've also picked up quite a few graphic novels and comics in here too, oh be still my beating heart!

Next on the list is Part Of The Spell by Rachel Heath and Beautiful Lies by Clare Clark. Both are hard back copies and both cost a very expensive €1.49 in Dealz. I nearly fell over myself when I saw the price of these after reading the backs of them. Even if I decide they are the worst story lines in history, they still cost me next to nothing. You can't go wrong!

And lastly I picked up A Life In Frocks by Kelly Doust in the Value Books shop for €5.99. I had been eyeing it up in the window every time I passed it by for the last few weeks and I finally stopped in to get it. It was the last one too so I felt extra lucky. 

What are you reading at the moment?

Tuesday 8 July 2014

Oriflame's 'The One' Event

 Last Saturday I toddled along to the very exciting launch of Oriflame's new line, The One. I was delighted to learn all about the brand as I had never heard of it before, although my dear mammy was dreadfully excited about it when I mentioned it to her. Oriflame has mainly marketed its products to people over the age of 35, but with the launch of 'The One' they are reaching out to a younger age group and hoping that it'll catch a few eyes. I can tell you without a doubt, after spending some time with this line I think its clear to say I'm hooked. 

Gary Cockerill is Orilflame's chosen brand ambassador for his years devoted to being a make up artist for the stars. He talked a little about the brand and then did two demonstrations on some blogger ladies. He talked about the cream eye shadows as he applied some to the lovely Rachel using brushes. There are 8 shades available and they really did look gorgeous on. I'm a fan of cream shadows in general as they are so easy to use when your in a rush and still want to look well put together. Gary asked if one of the girls would apply the shadow to the second eye to show how easy the product was to use. He also talked about the different liners in the collection and I tested a pencil which was just a tad hard, but once warmed up worked beautifully. 

 The second demonstration was modeled by the lovely Beth, wearing some of Gary's own line of lashes that he applied before also adding some blue liner and a gorgeous orange lip. I really love this particular look as its subtle but at the same time daring with the blue. I wouldn't be able to pull this off at all but Beth looks as cool as a cucumber. (jealous!) It was really lovely to get to meet Gary and hear about some of the gorgeous new products from 'The One' collection. 

I never normally talk about the PR companies who organise events but I have to mention that there was the nicest girl called Stef from Faith PR who welcomed all the bloggers, helped out in any way she could during the demonstrations and was a mind of information. She was also kind enough to give me the same Oriflame nail varnish that she was wearing on the day. I just had to credit her for all her friendliness and effort. Plus, anyone who points me in the direction of cupcakes is a winner in my book! And as Faith PR are based in the UK, she was going straight from being the loveliest hostess with the mostest to running off in time to catch a plane back home. What a lady!

I have an Oriflame catalogue burning a hole in my handbag, so I can't wait to flick though it and maybe pick out a few things to drool over! I was also lucky enough to receive some of 'The One' products so I will be reviewing them in the future. You can have a look at the entire range here.

Monday 7 July 2014

June Favourites

I've been crappy at posting in June, tis' a woeful situation altogether lads. I'll try and be better this month. I've lots of lovely things I want to post about, I promise I'll kick myself up the arse and get to it! Right now though, lets talk favourites. I've been a little fish this month heading into the pool a lot and as a result the hair is about three days short of a full on strike. Also I have been stocking up on the books which I'll have a post about soon, love me some reading!

First off I am going mad overboard fancy here - well for me! I recently ran out of my Benefit They're Real and decided to go rooting for a new mascara. Boom! I found this in my draw, a long lost Christmas present. Lancome Hypnose in black. Its a lot wetter then what I was used to with Benefit and when it drys theres no hard layer of can't-open-your-eyes-for-the-weight. In short, I feel classy wearing this. Bit of a bitch if you like fast drying mascaras, but the end result is gorgeous lashes. Not worth almost €30 though. 

On the other end of the money scale (and back to my normal kind of thing!) is a bargain grabbin' €1.50 argan oil hair treatment from the pound shop. As I said, the hair is in dreadful condition so I picked this up in hopes that it will do something. Your instructed to use 3-4 drops and distribute throughout the hair, but I just lash it on and hope for the best washing it out a few hours later. Its worth picking up as I can feel the softy soft results after using it.

As I am an absolute tool I forgot to take a photo of the pink exfoliate gloves from the top picture, but I still need to tell you about them. Penneys best, €1.50 and everyone needs a pair. I have gotten big into my body scrubs lately and what better way to maximize the scrubby goodness then with a pair of gloves to help remove sandpaper skin? These ones replaced my much loved WaxPerts gloves, which I will talk about soon. (Me blogging a lot sounds great in theory!)

If your new to the party, I wrote about the book Guilty Pleasures a little while ago, and after about 14 of them (theres something like 20 in total) I gave up and ranted to anyone who would listen about the awful story line. And after a few months of not reading the books, I'm beginning to miss it again, so when I found some graphic novels of the books I pounced on them. They are everything and nothing like I had imagined in my head, but thats always the way! I'm so tempted to go back and read a few more awful, sex filled, vampire books... Actually it doesn't sound all that bad!

The most exciting thing about my showers recently has been Garnier Ultimate Blends shampoo and conditioner. Man these bottles smell so damn good! (Hey, its the little things in life) I'm slowly making my way through their entire range and this is my favourtite so far. I smell my hair all day and look like a loon because of this stuff. Softy soft hair is also a major bonus from using this too. There all on offer for under €3 in Boots at the moment if you fancy grabbing a few.

Lastly my Emma's soy candles. I'm still in love with these and I did a post about them here. When I get sad I light these and they make me happy. My asthma has seriously been getting worse the past while and they don't effect it at all. Little jar of happiness that you can enjoy being around and still being able to breath? Yeah, we like that kind of stuff! They are Irish, hand made and come in so many different scents. You need at least one.

Saturday 5 July 2014

My Top 3 Body Scrubs

I liked doing the top 3 sea salts sprays post so much that I thought I may as well do another top 3! This time it comes in the form of body scrubs, something that I have taken to using along side moisturisers as if its a religion. There really is no better feeling then having freshly scrubbed squeaky-clean skin straight out of the shower! And then a quick little shhlap on of the moisturiser and bam! Its gona' be one hell of a good day. I'll admit, it was really hard picking these and I could have easily listed about 8 more. Decisions can be hard when it comes to products sometimes! (First worlds problems, am I right?).

Starting with the cheapest and working my way up, I give you the most zingy out of the lot! Anatomicals 'don't just clean it woman, scrub it' body scrub - quite the mouth full! I've talked about this little beauty before but I really think it is one of the best affordable scrubs out there and I am in love with all this ranges packaging, its so funny and eye catching. Its got the kick you need in the morning not only to leave you soft but wide awake with its pink grapefruit scent too. It has a gel like consistency with little scrubby bits mixed in to give you the best of both worlds. This is easy to apply and because its a gel it slides over your skin easily and you don't need loads to achieve a well scrubbed bod. This is defiantly an all time favourite and I have repurched it since I've just finished this one. You can get your 200ml bottle from Cloud10beauty for €4. Not too shabby.

I genuinely had such trouble picking which Soap&Glory scrub I wanted to talk about in this post. I really am a massive fan of this range and one of my all time favourites is the Scrub em' and leave em' that I did a post on way back in the day over here. But in recent times I've been making my way through Breakfast Scrub which is a lovely shea butter sugar scrub that you could almost eat. I love the gorgeous sweet smell and how you can really work it well into the skin without half of it falling or not sticking onto your skin so you can rub it in. Its scrubby and good at getting you softy soft, but it always has the added benefit that its not harsh on your skin as the beads aren't course and the shea butter makes you that extra bit silky too. Another little thing that I love about this scrub is the tub it comes in. Yes, all S&G products are beautifully packaged and my heart flutters every time I see the famous pink shades passing my vision, but this is perfect for holding in the palm of your hand. I know it sounds silly now, but just you try holding a big awkwardly shaped jar of scrub when your all wet and things are easily slipping through your hands! This yoke is a keeper, but a little dear at €13.25. However theres one of those dangerous 3for2 offers on in Boots at the moment so... Get your hat and knickers!

And last but by no means the least, the *Sugarbutter body scrub spa body essentials. I got this as part of a set from the lovely Oceana Spa Beauty. I will be doing a full review on the entire set but I couldn't not talk about this scrub right now, its just too nice. This scrub is indeed sugar, but its also creamy and once you rub some over your skin and it mixes with water it goes a little further then the other scrubs. I honestly feel that it should be marketed as a moisturiser as well as a scrub, its so soft and lovely on the skin. It does mention on the back that its a body butter and scrub all in one though, which is good! This smells both sweet and slightly tangy from the grapefruit and orange essential oils. At €14 I think that although its a bit pricey, its well worth it and will last a very long time. I might even get it again once its finished up (just to be sure its eh, working right that is.. cough!) I really love this one.

*I did not pay for this item, it was a PR gift.  Please see my disclaimer here. 

Friday 4 July 2014

Junes Powder Pocket

Before we even pour the tea out, I want to warn you that this is going to be a bit of a ranty post. If you've read my last months review of Powder Pocket then you'll know this isn't something out of the blue, I've been having some mixed feelings about the box of a month or two now. This month the box is late - the same goes for the last one too. Its meant to come in the month that it says, but yet again I'm getting it on the 2nd of the next month. This just bugs me so much when I see other subscription boxes arriving on time. 

The second thing thats driving me a little around the bend is the lack of full sized products. I know not every product can or will be full sized, I'm not looking for miracles. But like last month, theres not one full sized product in sight. And then my third and final note of annoyance - what the hell is up with the theme this month? Viva Brazil is a lovely idea, I get that its football month and everyone is going mad for it. But how do the products in any way fit this theme? Ah lads at Powder Pocket, your not having a good streak are you? I really love the people over at Powder Pocket, now don't get me wrong. I met some of them at the Irish Beauty Show and they were nothing but a treat! Its just.. Meh?

 Anyway, heres what came in this months box. You can judge for yourselves and tell me if I'm a whining aul' bat that needs to take a back seat. Or even you might agree with me, stranger things have happened!

I do love that they colour coordinated the Viva Brazil theme to the paper, ribbon and tiny cute little sticker. This is the one place I can and have never faulted this box, their presentation is to die for and I always love every single box in this way. I also really like the booklet that it comes with. Colourful, exciting and full of all the information about the products in the box along with a few other pieces that expand on some of the brands. I love having a flick through this and learning more about them all. 

There was a mixture of things this month. Something I was delighted to see was that Pixy was back in the box this month and had a lovely little lime body scrub in it. I did a review of these over here if your interested. They are great for a quick scrub in the shower while also being really moisturising. I'm a little dissappointed that the same brands keep appearing in this box as finding new brands to try is what beauty boxes should be all about. I'm very divided on this one, ha! This sample size is €1 while a full size product is €5.95. 

Keeping on the same rant, Shiseido is another brand thats popped up in this box before and while its really great to try out a product that would be too far out of my price range to every dream of getting to try out, its still annoying that its a brand I've seen and read about before from Powder Pocket. This is the advanced body creator super slimming reducer. If I'm honest I laughed at this when I read it. One because theres no amount of cream in the world to help me become slim (this is a funny thing, no one go all 'but your not fat!' on me now, ya here?) and second it all sounds a bit too gimmicky for my liking. This is a 12ml sample size, with the full 200ml size a loling €62.  

Something I was excited to see was Dr. Hauschka almond soothing bath essence. I'm a fan of the bath, I'm a fan of almond, how could this go wrong? It smells so damn good from the quick shinff I had when I first opened the box. Only thing that brought me down from my moment of joy was realizing that the full size 100ml bottle is 'from €22.49'. Well, better make this last then! This sample size is 10ml.

Another really exciting thing that I am delighted to have my paws on is the Body Shop super volume mascara. Its been years since I've used any make up by the body shop so I can't wait to give this a whirl and if I like it I might even pop in and have a look at what else they have to offer my face! This is €15.95 for a 10ml tube. I also love that there was a free eyebrow threading voucher in the box, I'll be using that for sure!

Lastly what I would call a really crappy sample, Nia intensive restoring moisturiser. Now I'm not a huge fan of moisturisers in general, but this isn't even going to get a look in with me. It smells really odd, somewhere between a herbal scent and I don't know what. Its not something that my nose would like having to deal with while it was sitting on my skin. This is really poor packaging as the bottom sticker on the little jar is half cut off and illegible. The only thing I can make out is that its a 4ml tub and its made in Ireland. Not a cool price either at €24.95 for a 50ml jar. Some will happily pay that for their moisturiser, but me? Not a hope.

 Overall I'm not really a happy bunny with this months box at all. I said last month I'd give them another try and see if Junes box was any better but now I've decided I'm going to cancel my subscription and head to Chic Treat Club in hopes that what they have will be better. (And lets face it, we've all seen the reviews of those boxes. I'm so jealous I didn't sign up to them from the beginning!) 

So, what do you think? Am I being too grumpy?