Birchbox Review | March 2017

Firstly, I can’t believe that Birchbox sent out over 100,000 boxes for one month! That’s absolutely crazy!! I didn’t think it was such a popular subscription but clearly it is!!

Anyway.. here’s what I received this month:

Benefit They’re Real! I was so excited when I had an email come through saying that this was going to be in this months box! I’m a sucker for a lipstick and as this has a liner in it as well. Birchbox gave you a choice of what colour you could pick so I went for Lusty Rose as I’m really into a darker lipstick at the moment. It applied really nice and the stick itself was really soft, but somewhat too soft maybe as I found I pushed down harder for the liner to apply better and so it can end up a little wonky.

Balance Me Instant Lift Primer I’ve had this on for a few days and it’s meant to get blur any lines you may have. I can’t really say that I’ve noticed a difference – maybe it’s because I don’t have many lines, I don’t know.

Rituals Foaming Shower Gel Now.. for me personally who the hell puts a bathroom item in a metal can!! It’s just prone to rusting unless you dry everything down and let’s face it, ain’t no one got time for that! It foams up nicely and smells alright too. Nothing really to write home about!

Batiste 2-in-1 Invisible Dry Shampoo & Conditioner I’m the sort of person who has to wash their hair everyday so dry shampoo is something that I’ve used at festivals when I haven’t been able to shower at all! Now I may just be being heavy handed with this but I wish I hadn’t used it as my hair just looked even more greasy than what it was before. Maybe it’s me being heavy handed, having fine hair or not using it right but I’ll stick to washing my hair everyday thanks!

Caudalie Glow Activating Anti-Wrinkle Serum Again, other product that I couldn’t really tell the difference to not using this product. I was a little gutted too that the sample appeared to be half empty already so I only got to use it a couple of times. Maybe that’s why I couldn’t see a difference!If you’re interested in subscribing to Birchbox then use my referral code and you’ll get your first box for £5!

Did you have Birchbox this month? What was your favourite item?


Merry Hill Haul

I went shopping with one of my friends the other day over to Merry Hill in Dudley which is about 30-40 minutes away from where I live. In the intention was so help her with a few bits and pieces and not to really be spending any money on myself.. Let’s just say that didn’t last long!! So, here’s what I bought:

Paperchase I LOVE Paperchase! We have a more local one to use, but it’s in Shrewsbuy and it’s basically outside and when it’s winter weather like it has been i hate going there. I’m one of those people who horde stationary. The notebooks I buy I have to have a very good reason to use! I ended up buying this trinket dish which has little penguins on and it goes perfectly in my spare room. This was only £5 so I just had to get it!

Lush Again – this is one of my favourite shops! I have only recently discovered Lush and I love everything about it! My local Lush had put an Instagram video on with a golden egg. It looked beautiful so I knew I had to get one! It was only £3.95 and I can’t wait to use it. No doubt there will be pictures and videos on my Instagram so keep an eye for them! I also picked up some lip scrub in Mint Julips which smells like Mint Choc Chip. This was £5.75 which seems a lot for such a little pot, but it appears to be one of those products that it bottomless!

Superdrug I’ll be honest I normally get most of my make up from Primark or Boots. I don’t normal go into my local Superdrug, but I thought while we were in Merry Hill it would be rude not to have a litte look about. I bought a Collection 2000 Pressed Powder in the shade Candlelight which was £1.99 and also a Revolution eyeshadow pallet in Redemption Iconic 3. This was a crazy £4.00!! Yes £4.00 for all these shades! Madness! I had seen a few bloggers who had picked up Revolution pallets and they all seemed to like them and I honestly thought they would be more expensive than £4.00. I have tried out a few of these eyeshadows and they apply so smoothly. Let’s just say I will be investing in more of these pallets that’s for sure!

Primark You can’t really go shopping and NOT go to Primark, or at least I can’t! I didn’t really buy a lot as I was trying not to spend anything but I did treat myself to a few bits. Starting with the boring stuff, I bought so oval make up remover pads. This is a pack of 100 for £0.90 which is a great deal as I use a few of these a day! I bought a small make up bag to match a bigger one I bought a few months ago, but I have decided to use this as a pencil case instead! This was £3.00. I managed to get my hands on a contouring kit. Now.. I haven’t a clue on how to contour so if you know of any good videos, please link them below. The reason I got this was because it was £2.00 and I thought it seemed daft not to get it even if it was just to have a go at contouring and seeing if I could do it. And lastly, I bought a t-shirt which has swallows printed all over them. I was a little unsure of the sizing as it looked small but it seems to be OK (definitely on the small end of the sizing though!) This was a bargain price of £2.50 which makes me happy as I remember it was only a few years ago that t-shirts and vest were only £1.00-£2.00.

Have you been on a shopping haul recently? What was your favourite buy?

Sam xox

Tarot Reading | March 2017

I’ve always had an interest in tarot cards and decided to buy a pack for myself to teach myself how to use them. I have had friends who have them and when I’ve had readings before they have been pretty much spot on.

I decided to go with a personal three card reading. As you will see from the picture there are two cards which are upside down. This doesn’t mean that it’s bad luck or a negative card what so ever, it just means that it’s weakened. They are read with the middle card being card one, the one to the left is card two and the one to the right is card three.

Card One – Six of Water

Your passion past is working its way into your present now, as you turn mistakes into experience and emerge more mature and confident. In a relationship, this means being totally honest about your problems and tackling them together, rather than looking the other way and waiting for a fairy godmother. Yes, you can give someone freedom – without fear – and find, deep within yourself, a secret sensuality.

If you have not yet found a love to last a lifetime, this could change at an outdoor event linked to selling, where ’60’s music plays.

Card Two – Sun

Drawing this card points you towards fortune, and even fame, in all areas of your life. But you have your part to play – by seizing chances as they come up instead of sitting safe and waiting for something even better. This applies particularly to your working life. You will see one problem in black and white for the first time, as well as the negative influence of one person who is driven by jealousy. But you do have the option of breaking free – careers lined to stage, screen or working with younger people would all work well.

This is an excellent time for trying out daring ideas – perhaps a home decor scheme of pure bright colours, or a brightening up of your own, recently neglected, personal image. Your social life will be extra warm and enjoyable, and place you at the centre of a least one surprise celebration.

If a family has doubted your motives before, this time you will be taken on trust, ending a time of deep suspicion. And a garden or some other piece of shared land can bring family much closer.

Your body will benefit from warmth and light, so get out and about as much as you can in the open air. And follow up with that suggestion of a sunshine break – there is a way to cut the cost.

Card Three – Water Princess

Contests that pair similar pictures, visiting a twinned town, and mixed-up music bring luck – plus the number 47

So there you have it. I’m not too sure what to make of them at the time being, but the thing with tarot cards is that they’re not always relevant for now. It could be for something that’s days, weeks, months and sometimes even years in the future. One thing for sure is that  I will be using number 47 on anything I possibly can!!

Let me know what you think of this post and if you think I should carry this on and maybe doing it once a month?

Sam xox

The Importance of Scheduling

As a newbie blogger I never understood the importance of scheduling previous posts and also scheduling new posts!

For scheduling previous posts, I use Hootsuite. It’s free and so easy to use! I will hold my hands up and say I only schedule my posts for Twitter. This is mainly because this is where most of my traffic on my blog comes from.

I have asked about previously and there is no right or wrong amount t schedule, however I have found myself that at least 5 scheduled tweets with previous posts being tweeted will generate a steady flow of traffic. If you want to do more than this – brilliant. But remember, you need to have the content to do so (it may get a little boring for your readers to see the same things coming up on Twitter day in, day out!)

For me, I schedule my tweets to post between 6pm and 12 midnight, purely for the fact that if someone comments on it, then I will be able to answer pretty much straight away!

When you schedule these tweets, it’s also important to tag in Twitter accounts such as @BblogRT as these will retweet your tweet and therefore expand your audience!

I have learnt that scheduling new posts in advance helps a heap load! I try to do 4/5 posts per month, so basically one, sometimes two, posts a week. I usually do these at a weekend, when again, the audience will be greater as more people won’t be at work. It also helps when your’re away or if you fancy a chill weekend and you already have all your posts scheduled in advance.

When I went away for nearly two weeks, I had done no scheduling and had no new content written ready to post when I was away and I can’t tell you how many Twitter followers I lost in those two weeks. I guess Twitter accounts look through to see when they’ve last heard from you and unfollow accordingly. This may not be the case, but I loss so many followers!

So, there you have it. Schedule your old posts and post them again on Twitter and schedule your new posts so they automatically post on a date and at a time of your choosing! Simple!

What do you use to schedule? How often do you schedule?

Sam xox

To Do List: Feb 2017

How the hell is it March already?! Seriously I’m sure it was January just a bink ago! I’m so excited for March so am so pleased it has come round as quickly as it has!

So here’s what I’ve been up to over the last month:

  • I signed up to Birchbox and I absolutely love it! I received my first box and couldn’t have been any happier with it. You can see what I received in my first box here. If you’ve not yet signed up to Birchbox, then what are you waiting for?!  If you use code JW8HJ you will get your first box for just £5.00!
  • It was my birthday at the end of January so I thought I would write a haul post which you can find here. I really am lucky to have received so many wonderful gifts.
  • I did a review on Kiss Nails. For me these are the best false nails I have found and was lucky enough to receive some PR samples. You can read all about them here in this post.
  • I also did a post on what I bought in January, which was a mixed of makeup, lush goodies and an amazing bobble hat which I LOVE! You can see what I bought here.

I had planned to write a post on Pancake Day as I LOVE pancakes, but I ate them all before taking pictures, which is typical of me!! I some how managed to convince Andy that Pancake Day was a week early so I have certainly had my quota of pancakes for the year!

My social media following has grown which I am always thankful for and somewhat surprised that other people find my blog so interesting. If you’re not following me, then you can find the links here to all my social medias: Twitter Instagram Bloglovin’

How was February for you? Did you do anything new or exciting?

Sam xox

Centre Parcs Review

A few weeks ago, Andy and myself went to Centre Parcs at Woburn Forest in Bedford for a weeks break with brother and his family.

We had been to Woburn before a couple of years ago and loved it then. We hired a tandem bike for the two of us  which was so much fun! I would highly recommend it if you ever have the chance to have a go!

We ate out at Huck’s Bar on the first day we arrived there which was amazing food. The only downside to it, is every other day it opens at 4pm. As we were eating out for dinner most days then we didn’t get chance to go back! Cafe Rouge was also a lovely place to eat. And of course we ate at the pancake house!! You can’t go to Centre Parcs and not go to the pancake house!!

As Centre Parcs is quite an expensive place to do all the activities and to eat out for every meal, we did swimming at least twice a day – which is great for most, but for me.. the pool was a little chilly for my liking, but I stuck it out for as long as I could!! The water rides were awesome there! I have been the Centre Parcs in Nottingham and there are certainly better than there, although Nottingham’s rapids are ten times better! And their outside pool is like getting into a warm bath!! Exactly how a pool should be in my eyes, but then I do feel the cold!

On the Thursday we were there was the day that Storm Doris  hit the UK. There were a few fallen trees, but by the looks of it no one was hurt and no lodges were damaged. The staff there were really quick at tidying up the aftermath so no roads or paths were blocked. We did manage to get on to a pedalo before the lake was shut, and oh my days it was freezing! It was the longest 30 minutes ever, but it was good fun to take our niece and nephew out on the boat!

Have you been to Centre Parcs before? Which one did you go to and what are your thoughts on it?

Sam xox


Birchbox Review | Feb 2017

I have heard and read so much on Birchbox, that I finally have ordered myself the box! I have to admit that it was the most exciting thing to sit and wait for and I was like a child at Christmas when it finally came through the door!

So, here’s what I had in my very first Birchbox:

Spectrum Collections Tulip Contour Brush | I absolutely love this brush! I have been meaning to buy some of these brushes for such a long time and now I am hooked. Not only does it look stunning, but it’s so soft and blends so easily!

POP Beauty Trio | This is in the shade Champagne Mocha and there are 3 shades from the full plate. For someone who has call the gear and no idea , the instructions which came with the Birchbox are so easy and simple to follow that I managed to achieve a really good smokey eye! I was well impressed with myself!!

Beaver Hydro Nutritive Repairing Conditioner | I wasn’t too sure when I first used this, as I’m normally one who puts a shed load of conditioner in my hair and I like to feel it feeling glossy when I wash it out. This didn’t have the whole glossy feel (maybe it’s because I wasn’t using loads?!) but I have to say that feel of my hair afterwards felt really nice and soft. I can’t say it had a really nice smell… it was just like normal smelling conditioner!!

Vasanti Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator | I love this product!! It has a really good grit to it, so it feels like it has actually removed all the dead skin from your face! To purchase the full bottle is quite expensive, but for me I would buy it as it’s done such a good job on my dry areas.

Keeome Hydration Mask | This was my least favourite product from this months Birchbox. The mask itself was huge (I guess they have to cater for everyone, not just little miss small face over here!) and I know it’s meant to be a hydration mask but it was VERY wet! I felt like I couldn’t sit up with this on in case it slipped off my face. After using it, I can’t say that my face felt any more hydrated than normal (and I had it on a little longer than the 25 minutes it suggests!)

Are you signed up with Birchbox yet? If not, then here’s a code JW8HJ and you’ll be able to get your first box half price!!

Sam xx