31 October 2015

October At A Glance + Monthly Favourites

This month seems to have flown by, although it seems like forever since my parents were here visiting at the start of the month; see what we got up to here and here! I also celebrated my 26th birthday this month and you can read my birthday post and gifts haul here. I had a lovely, chilled birthday and a delicious meal in the evening.
I finally got my passport sorted after they misspelled my new surname last year and we have requested permission from our landlord to have a dog... Still awaiting an answer, so fingers crossed! I already have my eye on a litter of local pups and I have been reading up on our chosen breed choice.
Work has been hellish and I am trying to cling on to my sanity! I'm hoping to hear back from a recent job I applied for...
I'm trying to be organised with Christmas this year and have already made a pretty good start on buying gifts. One person's gifts are already complete - my sister, Kathryn's! She's vegan, so it was quite fun focusing on vegan-friendly gifts. Have you started yours yet?
Cat from Cat Food Is Good For You got in touch earlier this month about her recent eBook launch - exciting! I was kindly offered the chance to enjoy the eBook for free, and I also have a special discount code for my lovely readers! With Cat's fun and witty writing approach, you're sure to enjoy reading this helpful and informative natural beauty guide. It is aesthetically pleasing, with pretty illustrations and photographs throughout. I'm eager to try making some of the natural beauty recipes from the eBook - namely the Almond Sea Salt Face Scrub and the Super-hydrating Face Mask! With an additional pocket-sized guide on toxins to avoid (which you can also store on your phone) and her own personal skincare journey story, Cat has everything covered that you should need in your transition to natural beauty. The complete eBook + bonus material retails at £9.99, but I have a 15% off discount code (expires 15th November) for my lucky readers - just enter "EMMA" at the checkout! I highly recommend this lovely eBook, especially if you are just starting out with natural beauty. You can purchase your copy here.
I was also lucky enough win Kate's Organii liquorice shower gel giveaway this month! It's a really fun product and truly smells of liquorice! I love the packaging, too.

Notable film mentions this month:
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Ratatouille - one of my fave Pixar movies. I love the story that follows the rat, Remy, on his journey to Paris and great food! The film's wonderful motto is "anyone can cook".
Trollhunter - A documentary-style, found-footage dark fantasy film about trolls in Norway!
Super - An average guy decides to become a super-hero to win back and save his wife.
The Angriest Man In New York - Robin Williams is great as the lead role in this awakening film. What would you do if you only had 90 minutes to live?!
Hector and the Search for Happiness - Another film that makes you think and appreciate what you have. Hector is a psychiatrist who is stuck in a rut. He goes on an adventure in search of what makes people happy.

Monthly Favourites:
I've been loving using this Deep Steep Lavender Vanilla Argan Oil Body Lotion, mainly as a hand cream. It softens and hydrates skin, leaving behind a gorgeous scent!
My new camera! I bought myself a Nikon D3300 DSLR camera and am loving the quality of photos I am now able to capture.
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Sweet treats and good food - we've been enjoying one too many naughty but nice treats this month, plus some yummy, home-cooked food!

What did you get up to in October?

28 October 2015

The Weekly Wish List

1. Countryfield Metal Candle Lantern, £19.99
This Moroccan-inspired lantern is really pretty and I imagine it would cast some lovely shadows when housing a lit candle!
2. MU London Organic White Chocolate Truffle Moisturiser, £15/60ml
This sounds heavenly! With minimal, natural ingredients and recyclable packaging, I'm sure I'd love this moisturiser.
3. Sia Home Fashion Pearlescent Decorative Jar, RRP £41 £9.99
I love the pearlescent finish on this pretty jar!
4. The Natural Deodorant Co. Vanilla Manuka Deodorant Balm, £10/60ml
I really want to try this deodorant as it sounds really luxurious and I imagine it smells incredible!
5. Nkuku Adari Traditional Bauble Set Of 6, £19.95
I'm getting super excited for the Christmas festivites to begin! These vintage-style recycled glass baubles would be a lovely addition to our tree.
6. Forever 21 Metallic Fit & Flare Dress, £24
I am not one for showing off much flesh, but I am really drawn to this metallic dress! It makes me feel very festive.
7. H&M Knitted Jumper, £29.99
I love the gold button detail on this navy knitted jumper. You can never have too much knitwear, right?

What's at the top of your wish list this week?

27 October 2015

10 Films You Should Watch This Halloween

I don't really celebrate Halloween as a holiday - I've never been Trick-or-Treating and I don't dress up. The only things that excite me about this time of year is the paranormal side of things and the fact that it's a great excuse to watch some horror films! So, with Halloween fast-approaching, I have compiled a list of films that I'd recommend you watch this Halloween!

[Rec] - Spanish found-footage film, where a TV reporter and her camera man stumble upon a virus outbreak which is much more sinister than they could've imagined.
28 Days Later - 28 days after the rage virus outbreak, Jim wakes up in a hospital bed; the hospital and, it seems, the whole of London, is deserted... or so it appears. Follow Jim on his journey of survival.
30 Days Of Night - Set in snow-covered Barrow, Alaska, this small town is plunged into darkness for 30 whole days. This brings with it a gang of blood-thirsty vampires! Will the town's inhabitants survive the month unharmed?
Monster House - In this animated film, it's the eve of Halloween and three teens are determined to uncover the truth about old Nebbercracker's "monster house"!
ParaNorman - In this animation, Norman Babcock can talk to dead people, but no-one believes him. Their small town is threatened by a magical storm that brings back the dead - will the people of Blithe Hollow turn to Norman for help?
The Babadook - If you're not a fan of jump scares, this will leave you impressed. A single mother, struggling to cope with her difficult son, happens across an unusual-looking children's storybook. When she realises the disturbing extent of the story portrayed in the book, she tries to destroy it... but you can't get rid of The Babadook!
The Conjuring - Another one which doesn't rely on cheap jump scares to deliver a fantastic film. Based on true events, this classic haunting story follows Ed and Lorraine Warren - paranormal investigators - who try to help banish the evil spirits that lurk within a family's new home.
The Nightmare Before Christmas - When Jack Skellington, Pumpkin King of Halloweentown, stumbles across Christmastown, he tries to incorporate the idea of Christmas into the annual Halloween celebrations, but he doesn't quite understand the concept of Christmas!
The Shining - Stanley Kubrick's classic horror follows Jack Torrence, who takes on the caretaker role of the Overlook Hotel during the winter. Stationed there with his wife and son, Jack begins work on his novel, but things soon take a sinister twist when they realise that they may not be the only guests at the hotel!
The Thing - John Carpenter's gruesome sci-fi horror is set in the frozen wastes of the Antarctic, where a scientific expedition uncovers something horrific. Tensions are running high and trust is tested to the extremes. Isolated and alone in the harsh winter conditions, will the crew survive?

What is your favourite film to watch on Halloween?

24 October 2015

What I Bought This Week

Layla Parisian Print PJs Set, RRP $58 £16.99 & Layla Puppy Print PJs Set, RRP $58 £16.99
These PJs are silky soft, with a nice stretch to the fabric. They are a great length on my legs and are really comfortable. I love the prints and the delicate lace trims.
Great Plains Sequin Print Dress, RRP £84 £19.99
I wore this new dress for my birthday meal and it's a lovely item. The sequin print is fun and makes it versatile enough to be dressed up or down. I have to say, I could never pay the original price tag for something like this - the material snags easily and it is 100% polyester, so I don't see it being worth much more than what I paid for it. It has a comfortable, loose fit, although the hem is quite tight-fitting when moving around.
TU @ Sainsbury's Knitted Bobble Hat, £6
I'm getting set for winter with a cosy bobble hat! I love the multi-coloured design and the faux fur pom-pom!
These jeans from Tesco are the most comfortable, amazing jeans I have ever purchased! If you wanted to, you could do squats in them. I will continue to purchase these as long as they make them! I now have them in the above colours, as well as light grey. I now need an indigo pair.
This candle has been on my wish list since forever! It smells wonderful and I can't wait to light it. There's nothing better than cosying up on a cold winter's night with a good film, good food and a few lit candles!
I finally purchased my first ever DSLR camera! I'm enjoying getting to grips with it at the moment and look forward to upgrading my blog photography. Can you spot the better photos in this post?!
Lily Lolo Mineral Foundation SPF 15, £13.99
Much to my surprise, I ran out of this the other day, so I re-purchased again, but again went for the next shade up, "Blondie", as I still felt that the shade I had was too pale. I'll be using this tonight, so fingers crossed it's a good colour match!
Dorothy Perkins Lyndsey Navy Ankle Boots, £39 £29.25
These gorgeous boots have been in and out of my virtual basket for ages! I finally purchased them at the 20% off price, plus snagged myself a free next day Saturday delivery worth £7.50!
Dorothy Perkins Two Pack Fluffy Socks, £6 £4.50
You can never have too many pairs of fluffy socks, so I had to buy these!

What did you buy this week?

22 October 2015

Recent Empties #3

JĀSÖN Powersmile Brightening Peppermint Mouthwash, £5.99/480ml
This is a really fresh and minty mouthwash and does not contain any of the usual nasties. I am trialing another mouthwash at the moment, but I can see myself returning to this one.
Re-purchase? Yes.
Giovanni 2chic Flat Iron Styling Mist, £8.99/118ml
This stylish mist helps to protect my hair from heat styling and reduces frizz. I've already re-purchased, as this is one of my staple haircare products.
Re-purchase? Yes.
Living Naturally Rosemary & Marshmallow Soapnut Shampoo*, £7.49/200ml
This is a great deep-cleansing shampoo. It helps to soften hair and add shine, plus it helps reduce the dryness of my scalp. A real staple in my haircare routine!
Re-purchase? Yes.
Organic Surge Orange Bergamot Hand Wash, £4.50/250ml
This was really nice gel hand wash, with a pleasant citrus scent. I'd happily re-purchase this for the kitchen.
Re-purchase? Yes.
Bentley Organics Deep Cleansing Hand Wash, £4.15/250ml
This hand wash lived at the kitchen sink, as I prefer to use gel formulas for hand-washing in the kitchen. I wasn't a fan of this one. The scent was quite herbal and the formula left my hands with that squeaky clean feeling, which I don't like.
Re-purchase? No.
Lulu & Boo Orange Blossom Toning Mist, £17.80/100ml
I've had this bottle of toner for ages, and am really happy to finish it - not that it was a bad product, I just got a little bored of it. It was a refreshing toner with a pleasant scent. I was going to replace it with the rose and chamomile toner from Lulu & Boo, but on further investigation, it appears that they use phenoxyethanol in these products, which is an ingredient I'm trying to avoid. Plus, they've increased their prices!
Re-purchase? No.

*items kindly gifted to me; all thoughts and opinions are, and always will be, my own.

20 October 2015

My 26th Birthday

Today I am celebrating my 26th birthday! I started the day by having pancakes with maple syrup and a vanilla-almond infused coffee! Then I got started on opening the lovely, thoughtful gifts that I received from my loved ones:
Then I lazily got back into bed in my new, cosy, sumptuously soft dressing gown that my husband bought for me, and watched a couple of Ghost Adventures episodes! I had a quick salad for lunch, making sure to keep lots of room for my evening meal.
Outfit Details:
Great Plains Sequin Print Dress
Primark Cardigan
Long Tall Sally Leopard Flats
5th Avenue Pink Bow Striped Bag
Forever 21 Necklace
We dined at The Blackmore Vale Inn pub, which was very enjoyable and they were very accommodating to my vegetarian requirements! I had an off-menu nut roast burger, topped with salad, cheese and an onion ring, in a toasted brioche bun. This came with a side salad and the most gorgeous chips! I opted for the warm chocolate fudge cake for dessert, which was heavenly!

19 October 2015

My Weekend In Pictures

On Saturday, I spent most of the day catching up on housework and TV programmes. By late afternoon, I was prepping our roast dinner, as we had dean's parents coming round. We had roast chicken, roast potatoes, roast parsnips, Yorkshire puddings, green beans and carrots, finished off with gravy and stuffing! I had the meatless version, which was delicious. For dessert, we had Co-op's Truly Irresistible sticky toffee pudding, with ice-cream or custard - I opted for Green & Black's organic vanilla ice-cream with mine! I really enjoyed it, while Dean wasn't as impressed by it. Oh, and we also had some Ferrero Rocher! While eating our roast, we enjoyed watching Pixar's Ratatouille - one of my top 5 favourite Pixar films!
Outfit Details:
Forever 21 Chunky Roll Neck Sweater
F&F @ Tesco Super Skinny Jeans
JustFab Knee High Boots
5th Avenue Pink Bow Striped Bag
On Sunday, Dean and I went into Yeovil for a quick browse round the shops. I picked up these two syrups for £3.99 each at TK Maxx. I also chose this Tesco's Finest Coffee & Walnut cake to share with our friends who we were visiting later in the evening to start my birthday celebrations early. We had a Chinese take-away and watched Beasts Of No Nation on Netflix. The film was pretty good and the roles were played well. I chose vegetables in satay sauce and chips with cheese for my meal, but found the satay a little too spicy. Our friends had already prepared a dessert, so we got to take the cake home with us, which I'm sure we'll enjoy on my birthday! I loved my fortune cookie:
We had a good evening catching up and left around 11pm.

What did you get up to at the weekend?

17 October 2015

What I Bought This Week

AloeDent Minty Fresh Aloe Vera Mouthwash, £3.99/250ml
I've been enjoying using JĀSÖN's mouthwash, but as it was coming to an end, I thought I'd test out another brand. This is very close to your mainstream mouthwashes, but without the alcohol, fluoride and saccharin. I'm undecided on which one I prefer!
Viridian White Willow 400mg Capsules, £6.85/30 capsules
White Willow is the original, natural alternative to today's Aspirin. I wanted to find a replacement for my casual pain relief - something to soothe and reduce headaches and general aches and pains. I have already used a couple of capsules - each time for a headache - and have been pleasantly surprised at the result. The only downfall for me, personally, is the large size of the capsules, but I've managed okay, so far!
JĀSÖN Calming Lavender Hand Soap, £4.99/480ml
This hand wash has a semi-opaque, gel formula and comes in this huge pump bottle! This is going to last for ages. I really love lavender as a scent (probably passed down through my Mum's love of it!) and find it rather calming. Now, it does smell of lavender, but it is different from the usual scent - perhaps more subtle - but still lovely. It lathers quite well and leaves hands feeling clean and moisturised.
Pukka Organic Rosewater, £11.95/100ml
Housed in a frosted glass spray bottle, this 100% organic, Ayurvedic-inspired rosewater can be used as a toner to reduce blemishes and oily skin.  It can also be used to treat prickly heat and as a natural pick-me-up for the mind and soul. This rosewater is made from fresh, organically grown roses which are steam distilled for complete purity. I'm not sure why I opted for a rose-scented toner, because I'm not really a huge fan of rose as a scent. This smells of roses, but with a slightly earthy undertone. I don't hate it, it's okay... Upon application to clean skin, it feels hydrating and refreshing. I'll be introducing this as a daily part of my skincare routine.
Lavera Pampering Rose Hand Cream, £4.45/50ml
Another unusually rose-scented product - no idea why I was suddenly compelled to try out this scent! This vegan-friendly hand cream is the perfect travel size and will probably live in my handbag for use when out and about. It's most definitely the time of year to be stocking up on some decent hand creams! Thanks to the organic wild rose fruit extract, this has a sweet, floral rose scent and is quickly absorbed into your skin.

What did you buy this week?

16 October 2015

My Week In Pictures

Monday 5th October - Friday 9th October.

On Monday, Dean, my Mum and I went to Sherborne to look round the shops, while my Dad painted our bathroom. Sherborne is such a pretty town and has some lovely little shops.
Purple Hanging Bunny, £2.99
With my new, purple car, how could I resist this lilac, woolly bunny in the sale?! Well, I couldn't, so it's now hanging in my car!
Vintage Style Mug, £2.99
Also in the sale and something I really didn't need, but I love odd mug collections and couldn't resist this vintage-style one.
We also popped into my local Naturalife store and I picked up these three flapjack-style snack bars, ranging from 62p-77p, and a bottle of Rocks Organic Elderflower Squash, £3.49/740ml.
The elderflower squash was nothing like elderflower cordial, which I love - it tasted like watered-down apple juice! The chocolate smoothie flapjack was really delicious! The pecan and the peanut ones were okay, but I wouldn't re-purchase those.

My parents treated us to a lovely Indian takeaway as an early birthday treat, and I had my first vegetable korma which was lovely! I had a delicious peshwari naan to go with it.
Tuesday saw Dean go back to work and Dad painting our place, so Mum and I went to Dorchester for a wander round the shops. We had chips for lunch and then took refuge in a little cafe when the rain came on. Mum had Americano coffee and a slice of apple cake with cream, while I had a hot chocolate and a chocolate brownie. We both thoroughly enjoyed it! We had a good look round Neal's Yard and it was such a lovely shop. They have loads of testers on display, and even a sink and towels to test out the hand washes! I've steered clear of make-up wipes for ages, but it's always nice to have that lazy option, so I picked up their Organic Face Wipes, £5.50/25 wipes, which have been great and really gentle.

On Wednesday, my parents and I took the dogs for a woodland walk near Okeford Fitzpaine - it was very muddy due to recent rainfall and we got a bit lost, so we were walking for what felt like ages! My dad spotted two squirrels and there was a field of horses at the start of our walk.
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We also went for a short walk along the trailway in the evening, and captured this pretty sunset!
On Thursday, my parents and I took the dogs for a walk in Piddles Wood. It was lovely and peaceful, until my Dad endured a surprising electric shock when he was opening a metal gate, while unknowingly leaning against an electric fence! Unfortunately there were no warning signs on the fence, but he was fine! We all had a take-out to finish off the day and then my parents departed around 7pm.

Most of our evenings during our holiday were spent either watching a movie or playing Scrabble!

I felt a little lost on Friday and had a chilled out day, catching up on housework and TV programmes, before returning to work that night.

What have you been up to lately?