Tuesday, 30 August 2016

My Little Friends Box

When I was looking back through my old blog posts, I couldn’t believe how long it had been since I unboxed a My Little Box on here! So, I thought I would snap some photos of the August Friends box to share with you. If you’ve never heard of My Little Box it is a monthly lifestyle subscription box, which originally started out in France and Japan, but now sends to the UK as well. As much as I love a good beauty box, I really enjoy the idea of a lifestyle box, as you get some really interesting pieces that you wouldn’t ordinarily find in a traditional beauty box.

Every month, the box has a theme, and in the past themes have included ‘Energy’, ‘Frenchie’ and ‘Super.’ August’s theme was ‘Friends’ and, as with previous boxes, on the inside lid of the brown box was a cute sticker. This particular one came in the shape of a blue speech bubble, with the phrase “We go together like bikinis and ice cream.” These stickers tend to vary – some months I will hang on to them to use for crafting, whereas other months they’re not really something I will use. They’re good fun though, and I like the way they help tie the theme together. As always, the contents of the box were beautifully displayed, tied together with a bow.

After untying the ribbon, the first thing I found was the My Little Box A5 magazine, which is always nice to flick through. It contains various articles from inspiration for how to use the contents of your box to interviews, mainly with French personalities. Underneath the magazine was an A5 print, this time with a simple slogan, “In Girlsquad we trust.” I’m usually pretty happy with the majority of these prints, as they can be good for popping on my pin board or using for crafts, but I’m not sure if I’ll use this particular one yet. Also in the box was the regular material bag containing the beauty bits, but this time with a pretty red heart design.

As this box is a lifestyle box, you usually get two or three non-beauty items, which is always good fun. The first of these was a little packet of Propercorn Sweet and Salty popcorn. Probably not enough to share with a friend, but certainly something to snack on while you watch a film together or something. As you saw in my Sunday Snippets post, the Propercorn Coconut and Vanilla popcorn is one of my absolute favourites. I haven’t tried this flavour yet, but if it’s anywhere near as good as the other flavour I’m pretty sure I’ll love it.

The next lifestyle item in the box was this clip-on fisheye lens for all smartphones. It’s definitely something different from anything I’ve seen before in a box! I’m not sure how much use I will get out of it, but I will certainly give it a try. It might be fun to use whilst taking selfies with friends (if I can work out which way round to put it!) 

The final lifestyle item was this pretty little manicure kit, made by My Little Box. This kind of thing always comes in handy when you’re on the move and break a nail or something, so I shall be popping this in one of my handbags. The pouch is a mixture of really bright, cheerful colours including navy, green, orange and pink, and is made from a fairly soft material, but strong enough to keep the contents protected.

With My Little Box you then tend to get three beauty items inside a little canvas bag. Two items are branded, and one is from My Little Beauty. The first product was a hairspray from Batiste in this colourful container. I knew Batiste did dry shampoos, but didn’t realise they also sold hairspray, so I will definitely be giving that a try to see what it’s like. Next up was a face cream from a brand I hadn’t heard of before – Kadalys. I’m guessing it might be a French brand, as I know they like to try and include French brands where they can. The packaging is clean and simple, and the comforting cream sounds like it should be nice to use. The final beauty product, which was from My Little Beauty, was a summer lips lip balm, with SPF 15, which is always good! I’ve generally found the My Little Beauty products pretty good quality, and particularly like their night cream, which came in a previous box.

So that was everything that came inside the My Little Friends Box this month! I think this was a bit of a mixed box, with some things I will definitely use and others that I’m not really sure about. The popcorn will go down well and I look forward to trying out the beauty products, but I’m not sure how useful the fish-eye lens will be. Unfortunately, this is going to be my last My Little Box, for a while at least, as I’ve had to cut down on my subscription boxes for now. But I’ve been getting the box for well over a year, and have really enjoyed being introduced to some new products and receiving a box of surprises through my door each month has been lovely.

Are you a fan of My Little Box? Or is there another subscription box that you would recommend?

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Sunday, 28 August 2016

Sunday Snippets - 28th August 2016

It’s been quite a mixed week, with some really good parts and some rather more difficult parts. I’ve had some lovely family time and enjoyed the sunshine, but have also had a hospital procedure and have found the heat pretty difficult to deal with. I can’t quite believe we’re almost at the end of August already. Where on earth is this year going?! Now that X Factor has started again and Strictly is on its way, I’m really starting to feel more autumnal.

Last Sunday I woke up really late, which was kind of frustrating but I obviously needed the sleep. I had a fairly slow morning sorting out my medications for the week ahead, playing with the dogs and watching The Simpsons. After lunch I spent some time writing and uploading a blog post. I chatted to my Grandma for a bit before watching some YouTube videos and doing some bits on my laptop. After dinner I relaxed with a lovely Lush bath and facemask.

As I mentioned in the previous couple of week’s Sunday Snippets, this month I’m joining in with the Crown and Glory Glitterati 2nd birthday celebrations, which includes a photo challenge on Instagram for the whole of August! If you want to see everyone else’s, simply search the hashtag #CGGlitteratiTurns2. Day 21 is ‘Quote’ – I have so many favourite quotes, but picked this one because I often look at it when I’m feeling down about my health and the fact I can’t always do things as quickly as I’d like.

I was up reasonably early on Monday morning so my Mum could take me down to the Doctors for an ECG. Thankfully the machine didn’t break this time! I spent the rest of the morning being quite productive. I edited a load of photos and then wrote two blog posts. In the afternoon I spent some time watching Family Guy and writing part of an article. My Dad then took me to the hospital for my first Tai Chi session with the physio. It actually went OK – it’s very spoonie friendly and I’m hoping it might be something relaxing I can do regularly. I opened some post when I got home, which included this new Neutrogena moisturiser I’ve been sent to review by BzzAgent so I look forward to trying it!

Day 22 of the August Crown and Glory photo challenge is ‘Style It Up’ – We had to flat lay our outfit of the day, so here you have a pair of New Look black leggings, this awesome Mickey t-shirt from ASOS and my Disney hair clips.

Tuesday was a busy, tiring but fun day. I went up to London with my Mum, Richard and Lisa. We made our way to the Magnum pop-up shop first and made our own lollies, which was good fun! We then went over to London Bridge, walked (or was pushed!) over the bridge and went to The Sky Garden, which is 30 odd floors up. We took in the amazing view first, and then managed to find a table so we could have a late lunch. It was all pretty expensive, but we managed to get a couple of bits to keep us going. After lunch we had a look round the garden bits and took in more of the view. By that point we were absolutely shattered, so headed back to Waterloo. Unfortunately the lift was broken, so we had a bit of a task getting me upstairs in rush hour. By the time we got home I was exhausted. I also vlogged our day, so keep an eye on my YouTube channel for that, and many other, videos.

Day 23 of the August Crown and Glory photo challenge is ‘Magic’ – I love the idea of magical worlds, which has to include a bit of Disney! I also love fairies and unicorns, especially this cuddly heat-up unicorn that I got from Topshop a couple of years ago.

These were the Magnum ice creams that we made in London on Tuesday. There were so many different toppings and options to choose from, and the store was lovely and cool, which was definitely a plus on one of the hottest days of the year!

There were amazing views of London from the Sky Garden. I’m glad we went on such a beautiful, clear day.

I had another early hospital appointment on Wednesday morning, this time with a new psychiatrist who I saw for a second opinion on my diagnosis and treatment. I was pretty terrified about the appointment, but thankfully she was really lovely. She agreed with us that I don’t meet the criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder. I do have elements of it, but also have anxiety related issues. She believes I have something called Cyclothymia, which is a milder form of Bipolar. She thinks I need to have individual psychological input and is going to discuss it with her boss. I came home and spent the rest of the morning tidying in my bedroom. I had a bit of a funny turn (again) where I think my blood sugar dropped too low. It keeps happening and it makes me feel really unwell. Thankfully after drinking my Ensure I felt a bit better. David and Emma popped over, so I chatted to them for a bit. My Mum and I popped out for a bit to pick something up. I found this card when I was tidying, and by the time we got home all I wanted to do was crash out on the sofa.

Day 24 of the August Crown and Glory photo challenge is ‘Memory’ – A Crown and Glory memory I have is receiving my first Glitterati box in February 2015. I remember how excited I was when I saw the glittery tape and the Valentine’s Day theme was seriously awesome.

I was up at 5.30am on Thursday, which wasn’t much fun. My Dad drove me to the hospital and took me to the Day Surgery department before heading home again. I was taken through to a lounge for a while and then transferred to a bed. I took along a couple of magazines and a book to keep me distracted while I waited, but thankfully I was second on the list so didn’t have to wait too long. After changing into a gown and answering a load of questions, I was taken down to the theatre. My consultant was there, along with lots of other staff, who were all very lovely. I wasn’t 100% sure exactly what I was having done, as I knew it would depend how busy the list was. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending how you look at it) there was only time for them to do one area. So they did the occipital nerve block, which meant doing some injections of local anaesthetic and steroid at the base of my skull. I didn’t have any sedation, so it was quite a painful procedure and I felt quite lightheaded and sick. Once it was over I was taken back to the ward to recover. Due to the area injected, it numbed parts of my face and my throat/neck area, so swallowing proved to be difficult. It also seemed to make my breathing difficult, which they were concerned about. My Mum was allowed to take me home and I slept for the rest of the day really. I felt pretty wobbly mentally in the evening, which always seems to happen after I have had a procedure in hospital.

Day 25 of the August Crown and Glory photo challenge is ‘Love’ – There are a lot of things that I love, but what I love more than anything is my family. We keep growing, and this year alone I have gained two new sisters, which is just awesome. Life is bloody difficult sometimes (well, a lot of the time) but knowing I have these guys around me makes life worth living.

I didn’t sleep particularly well on Thursday night, so was still feeling pretty rough on Friday morning. I spent most of the morning dozing and watching TV, but did manage to finish an article I was meant to send off on Thursday. I used to be such an organised person, but these days I just can’t keep on top of things. Everyone was out in the afternoon, so I snuggled up with these two and watched a bit of YouTube. The pain in my head and neck was definitely feeling worse, which they said might happen, although that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. The only thing I can take is paracetamol, which I can’t take that often and it doesn’t make much difference anyway. I just kept trying to tell myself that it would get better (hopefully). Alfie and Freddie were a good distraction, and it was very sweet seeing them curled up by the front door together waiting for my parents to get home.

Day 26 of the August Crown and Glory photo challenge is ‘Comfort Zone’ – We were meant to wear something out of our comfort zone, but I had to interpret it a bit differently. My head was still very painful after my injections on Thursday, so I decided to pick something comfortable to wear instead. I’ve really been struggling with the heat, even more so after the injections, so I used a funky scrunchie to keep my hair off me.

I didn’t sleep brilliantly again on Friday night, which I think was a mixture of the pain and the heat. My Dad asked me if I wanted to go to a coffee shop for lunch on Saturday with him and my Mum, but I didn’t really feel up to it so had to say no. I did manage to do a bit of video editing while they were out, which I was quite pleased with as I’ve got so many videos filmed that I need to get out. When my parents got back, my Dad asked if I fancied popping out to our church to see the entries for a garden and produce show, so I decided to go along, as I thought it might be a good way to get out of the house. Thankfully there were lots of chairs, so I was able to sit down lots and see these cute vegetable animals. I rested for a while when we got back and watched some James Corden Carpool Karaoke. I wanted to pop to the supermarket with my Mum to get a couple of bits. In retrospect I shouldn’t have gone, as it was too much and I felt a lot worse after. I’ve been trying to get my head around this whole pacing thing for nearly 13 years and I still can’t seem to get the hang of it!

Day 27 of the August Crown and Glory photo challenge is ‘Self Love’ – I’ve been meaning to buy myself some more flowers for my room for ages, so today was a good opportunity to do it. There wasn’t a huge amount of choice in Waitrose, but I picked a couple of bunches of pink gerberas, which are one of my favourites.

I know I’m biased, but how handsome is this gorgeous boy!

This flavour of Propercorn is my absolute favourite! I always find it good to graze on when I’m struggling to eat. I’m a bit sad that my local Waitrose no longer sell it though.

You can check out my YouTube channel here, where I have recently uploaded a few new videos (and hope to continue doing!)

I’m also trying to post on Snapchat a bit more, so if you fancy following me, my username is Jennycole44.

What have you been up to this week? I always enjoy hearing about your news and adventures!

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Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Crown and Glory August Glitterati Box

I haven’t done a Crown and Glory Glitterati unboxing on here for ages, but this month I’ve finally got round to taking some pictures to share with you. For anyone that hasn’t heard of Crown and Glory, they sell a massive range of beautiful hair accessories covered in glitter, flowers, feathers and more! They also do their very own monthly subscription box – The Glitterati, which I’ve been subscribed to for quite a while now. Each month the box has a different theme, and because this month is a special second anniversary box, a poll was put up on the Glitterati Facebook group so we could choose what the theme would be.

I always get very excited to open my box and find out what the theme is each month, and this month I was even more excited than usual. Upon opening my box, I saw the pink tissue paper (always a good thing!) and a gorgeous little pink blossom sticker. The chosen theme was Sakura.

Inside my box was an array of beautiful pieces, which fitted in with the theme absolutely perfectly. With the overall colour scheme of pink and pastel colours, it definitely suits my taste for all things floral and delicate.

I love the fact that the information leaflet has a quote on the back of it, as it means I can pop it on my noticeboard or something, rather than having to just get rid of it. I particularly love this quote, although I wouldn’t say no to diamonds either!

Underneath the quote card was this beautiful cherry blossom crown, which comes in a variety of colours. If I buy things like this, I tend to always choose pink, so it was quite nice to receive something in a colour I may otherwise not choose. You can find a similar crown here.

Next up were these four little flower bobby pins in pinks, purple and white. These are right up my street and delicate enough to wear every day. They don’t have these exact ones available to buy, but you can find something similar here.

This Sakura hair clip duo in silver really caught my eye. They’re incredibly intricate and beautiful and are available to buy in gold or silver.

A new addition to the monthly box is something called The Hair Flair Club. It’s a new limited edition embroidered piece, with collabs from super talented artists and illustrators. This will be in the box every month from now on, which is quite exciting! The clip in this month’s box was this beautiful daisy, surrounded by pink flowers and green leaves. I’m really excited to see what future hair flair club pieces will bring!

With this being a particularly special, celebratory box, there was also another small packet with a balloon, sparkly confetti and a 31 Instagram challenge. You may have seen, either on my Instagram or Sunday Snippets posts, that I’ve been really enjoying taking part in the challenge over the last few weeks. I’m looking forward to the 31st when I believe there will be some exciting celebrations happening over on our Facebook group.

On the back of the Instagram challenge is another quote, which pretty much sums up everyone who is part of the Glitterati! I’m so happy with this box and am really enjoying being part of such a lovely, supportive community. I do enjoy getting a few other subscription boxes, but this is the only one I know of that incorporates a close community of like-minded people who offer love and kindness to each other.

Are you a Glitterati member, or have I tempted you to join?! Can you recommend any other subscription boxes?

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Monday, 22 August 2016

Cake Toppers*

I was recently contacted by a company called Cake Toppers, who are actually pretty local to me, which is always nice, as I like to support local businesses. I think I’d seen their name floating around before, but didn’t know an awful lot about them. So, when they asked if I would like to try out a couple of their personalised cupcakes, I couldn’t say no! Spookily, I actually received their e-mail when I was at my friend, Katy’s, house, and she just so happened to have used them to make some toppers to promote her business! It must have been fate!

They asked me to drop them an e-mail with the image I wanted on my cupcakes, so I decided to go for my lovely YouTube logo, designed by the brilliant Amy Rose Studios. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, as I’ve seen personalised cupcakes before and they can sometimes look a bit tacky. So, when mine arrived, I was excited to see what they looked like.

My cupcakes came nicely and securely packaged, so there was no chance of them getting squished or damaged. I was really impressed with the quality of the image, printed with edible ink onto a thin sheet of icing, rather than using rice paper. They looked really professional and I would definitely be happy to promote my brand with them. But the most important thing was the taste test. If I’m completely honest, I expected the cakes to be a bit dry and tasteless. How wrong was I! The sponge was light and fluffy, and both the chocolate and vanilla flavours were extremely yummy. Unfortunately the actual cakes aren’t gluten or dairy free; however, you can buy the toppers on their own (which contain no wheat, gluten, dairy products, eggs or nuts) and put them on your own cakes, which is a really great option for people with food allergies.

Cake Toppers can do both cupcakes and larger cakes for a whole range of occasions, from weddings and anniversaries to birthdays and company logos. They also offer a selection of character cakes and cake toppers, such as Mickey Mouse, Frozen, Peppa Pig and Angry Birds for very reasonable prices.

As well as sending me a couple of cupcakes to try, Cake Toppers have also kindly sent me a discount code to share with you guys! So, if you want to get 10% off your cake order, simply type RJCAT10 into the promotion code box at the checkout. To get ordering, head over to the Cake Toppers website here.

Have you ordered any personalised cakes yet? I’d love to see what you order, so drop me a Tweet or tag me on Instagram!

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