Latest in Beauty February...

 Latest in Beauty subscription service have had a recent rebrand that allows you to curate your own box each month and as I am so picky I was instantly interested and decided to see what was on offer. It turns out there was tons of great stuff- if you fill out a short survey they show you the products tailored to your tastes too. You can choose from either 3, 6 or 9 products and delivery is free if you subscribe. I went for 6 products and it cost me just £15 which I think is a complete bargain! 

I love the packaging for this subscription box. Last month everything was pink and this month it was all teal. Each month they include a cute postcard as well.

The 6 items I picked this month were...

Amphora Aromatics Citrus Tonic candle... This is a really nice fresh, clean scent.
Native Unearthed Natural Deodorant... I've been having trouble finding a deodorant that isn't an antiperspirant and I love this. I'm pretty certain I will repurchase although it will last a long time.
Optiat Hit the Sheets Vanilla Velvet Coffee Scrub 90g... I love coffee so this intrigued me!
Benefit Roller Lash... I got another one as the I loved this last month and am too stingy to buy a full size!
Burts Bees Watermelon Lip Shimmer... I got a Burts Bees lip product last time and loved it so thought I'd try this. It's great- I'm now a convert to the brand!
Rodial Stem Cell Cleansing Cream 70ml... I'm still on the hunt for a good face cleanser so thought I'd give this a go.

Extra item: Merci Handy Hand cleansing gel. 

Yet again I am extremely happy with the box. There is so much choice on the site it is hard to pick just 6 items but I think I picked a nice varied selection of things that I will use and the majority of them are full size so it works out to be amazing value for money!

New books...(the mainly graphic novel/comics edition)

Here are some recent book purchases...

Batman: The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb & Tim Sale
'Taking place during Batman's early days of crime fighting, this classic mystery tells the story of a mysterious killer who murders his prey only on holidays. Working with District Attorney Harvey Dent and Lieutenant James Gordon, Batman races against the calendar as he tries to discover who Holiday is before he claims his next victim each month. A mystery that has the reader continually guessing the identity of the killer, this story also ties into the events that transform Harvey Dent into Batman's deadly enemy, Two-Face.'
I managed to get a beautiful edition of this for an insanely cheap price from Forbidden Planet in the new year sale and am super chuffed as this was the next Batman book on my to read list after Hush (also written by loeb) which I LOVED!

Kill or be Killed Volume 1 by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips & Elizabeth Breitweiser
'The twisted story of a young man forced to kill bad people, and how he struggles to keep his secret from destroying his life. 
Both a thriller and a deconstruction of vigilantism, Kill or Be Killed is unlike anything Brubaker and Phillips have ever done.'
I love Brubakers work- especially his Catwoman stuff so this was a must read. I am always interested in comics within the thriller genre as it doesn't seem to be such a common thing. 

Adventure Time Volume 1 by Ryan North and Braden Lamb
'It's ADVENTURE TIME! Join Finn the Human, Jake the Dog, and Princess Bubblegum for all-new adventures through The Land of Ooo.
The totally algebraic adventures of Finn and Jake have come to the comic book page! The Lich, a super-lame, SUPER-SCARY skeleton dude, has returned to the the Land of Ooo, and he’s bent on total destruction! Luckily, Finn and Jake are on the case...but can they succeed against their most destructive foe yet? Featuring fan-favorite characters Marceline the Vampire Queen, Princess Bubblegum, Lumpy Space Princess and the Ice King!'
What can I say I love Adventure Time and this book is fun and colourful. I've read single issues for this series much later on as well as the Fiona and Cake spin off so I'm sure this will be just as amusing and visually appealing.

Sailor Moon: Pretty Guardian Volume 1 by Naoko Takeuchi
'Usagi Tsukino is a normal girl until she meets up with Luna, a talking cat, who tells her that she is Sailor Moon. As Sailor Moon, Usagi must fight evils and enforce justice, in the name of the Moon and the mysterious Moon Princess. She meets other girls destined to be Sailor Senshi (Sailor Scouts), and together, they fight the forces of evil!'
Confession: I've not read any Sailor Moon manga so decided this was a good place to start as it is supposed to be a direct translation from the Japanese. The book is beautiful and I'm sure this will be a quick and cute read. 

Batman: The Ultimate Guide to the Dark Knight by Scott Beatty
'Orphan Bruce Wayne swore to strike fear into the hearts of the criminals ruling the streets of Gotham City -- and the mysterious legend of Batman was born. This definitive celebration of one of the world's most popular fictional heroes contains full details of the extraordinary events and bizarre and sinister characters in Batman's thrilling career.'
I collect the DK Marvel and DC Comics books and finally have a new one to add to my collection. I've already had a flip through this and love it. It's packed full of information and artwork- I highly recommend these books if you are interested in the history of comic book characters and like fact packed visually pleasing books.

1001 Movies to See Before You Die by Steven Jay Schneider
'Expert critics in each genre of film, from romance to horror and sci-fi, have once again painstakingly revised this list of essential must see-movies, cut and added films to bring the must-watch list bang up to date for 2016. Illustrated with hundreds of stunning film stills, portraits and poster art 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die offers an incredible visual insight into the world of modern cinema. It puts together the most significant movies from all genres, from animation to Western, through action, comedy, documentary, musical, noir, romance, thriller, short and sci-fi.

Movies from over 30 different countries have been included, offering a truly wide multi-cultural perspective, and the time span includes more than a century of extraordinary cinematography. Packed with vital statistics, and a few facts that might surprise you, this is a collector's must for the bookshelf as well as an entertaining read for all those who love the world of film. Whether your passion lies with The Blue Angel or Blue Velvet, from the films you shouldn't have missed the first time around, to the films you can see again and again, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die is the definitive guide for all movie lovers
I love films and I love reading about them too. This is a nice coffee table type book that will give me some inspiration when looking for something new to watch. I also got this for the bargain price 1p so I'm pretty damn chuffed with that! 

Being honest about mental health...

Today I wanted to get honest about mental health. There are lots of articles and posts out there about being positive (I've probably written a couple...) but sometimes it's makes it sound so easy when really it's not. Today I wanted to get real about my experience with mental illness and how despite all the bad stuff there is some light. Hopefully you can relate. 

1. I have bipolar disorder, social anxiety and generalised anxiety disorder.
2. I have been on three different types of anti-depressants, beta blockers and diazepham.
3. I currently take anti-psychotic mood stabilisers and anti-depressants and probably will for the rest of my life.
4. I have contemplated suicide and made plans a number of times before my diagnosis.
5. I have had counselling and CBT, seen many psychiatrists, been to different hospitals and I've lost count of the amount of assessments I've had. I am currently in regular contact with my GP and awaiting more referrals. 
6. At my worst I couldn't leave the house. I spent around a year of my life only able to go out with close family and even then it often led to panic attacks.
7. I don't have many friends, and have never had a long term relationship. I feel like I lost most of my twenties to my illness.
8. I strongly believe in getting a diagnosis and medication. It has enabled me to start living my life again. I am in my second year of university and have been at my current job for nearly two years all thanks to a diagnosis, the right meds, and being mostly stable for the longest time in my life.

I am slowly rebuilding my life. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and I feel positive about reaching my goals. If you are not quite there yet, then believe me when I say it gets better. It's not easy but it is manageable and with hard work you can do anything you set your mind at. Believe in your own strength and ability. 

(Art by Robin Eisenburg)

Recently Watched...

No Good Deed 
'An unsuspecting Atlanta woman lets in a charming stranger to use her phone and soon believes the adage "no good deed goes unpunished" when he takes over her home and terrorizes her family.'
I love Idris Elba, but this film was just meh at times bordering on silly. 1/5

The Exorcism of Emily Rose
'The Rev. Moore is prosecuted for the wrongful death of a girl thought to be demonically possessed, because he administered the church-sanctioned exorcism that ultimately killed her. Prosecuting attorney Ethan Thomas contends that the young woman, Emily, suffered from schizophrenia and should have been medically diagnosed. Meanwhile, defense lawyer Erin Bruner argues that Emily's condition cannot be explained by science alone.'
I feel like I've seen exorcism films like this a million times before, the only difference with this that made it slightly more entertaining was that it was largely set in the courtroom. Still nothing special. 2/5

'An Irish teacher and a Boston ad exec start a relationship after their lust leads to pregnancy.'
An entertaining Amazon show that despite having mainly unlikable characters in strangely addictive and highly amusing. 3/5

Apple Tree Yard 
'A provocative thriller which sees an eminent scientist caught up in a damaging and compromising lie. Based on the novel by Louise Doughty.'
A four part BBC adaption of the book of the same name this was brilliant. I loved the book when I read it a couple of years ago and this stayed faithful to the story. Everything about this was high quality and despite already knowing the story kept me gripped right until the end. 4.5/5

The Girl With All the Gifts
'In the future, a strange fungus has changed nearly everyone into a thoughtless, flesh-eating monster. When a scientist and a teacher find a girl who seems to be immune to the fungus, they all begin a journey to save humanity.'
I read the book a few years ago and loved it (read it!) so was interested to see how it would be adapted. When the cast were announced I was some what irked by the fact the books protagonist (an older black woman) had been cast as the twenty something and white Arterton. That aside the film was really good and Nenua who played Melanie stole the show. Although the film didn't go as in depth or explore the really interesting themes the book delved into this is a great alternative to the usual zombie/ virus film and offers a new perspective. 4/5 

David Brent: Life on the Road (2016)
'The film catches up with Brent 12 years after the airing of the BBC mockumentary "The Office" to find he is now a traveling salesman. However, he hasn't given up on his dream of rock stardom and is about to embark on a self-financed UK tour with his band, Foregone Conclusion.'
I am a huge fan of the original The Office tv show and have rewatched it many times- it's a classic, that also happened to have a perfect ending which tied everything together nicely. To be honest I wasn't expecting much from this unnecessary cash in and only watched it because it went on Amazon Prime. It was the most pointless film ever. It wasn't funny, it had no story and all the other characters aside from Brent were flat, shallow stereotypes there to serve a purpose to the story line and sappy happy ending. Just don't bother with it! 1/5

New books...

Here are some new books I've bought lately. One of my reading goals for this year was to read more non fiction so I took that as the perfect excuse to add a few to my bookshelf...

Saving Sophie by Sam Carrington
'When Karen Finch’s seventeen-year-old daughter Sophie arrives home after a night out, drunk and accompanied by police officers, no one is smiling the morning after. But Sophie remembers nothing about how she got into such a state.

Twelve hours later, Sophie’s friend Amy has still not returned home. Then the body of a young woman is found.

Karen is sure that Sophie knows more than she is letting on. But Karen has her own demons to fight. She struggles to go beyond her own door without a panic attack.

As she becomes convinced that Sophie is not only involved but also in danger, Karen must confront her own anxieties to stop whoever killed one young girl moving on to another – Sophie.'

This was an impulse supermarket buy when I was doing a food shop. I can't resist a thriller!
Baby Doll by Hollie Overton
'Held captive for eight years, Lily has grown from a teenager to an adult in a small basement prison. Her daughter Sky has been a captive her whole life. But one day their captor leaves the deadbolt unlocked.

This is what happens next...'

This was another impulse supermarket buy that is for fans of Gone Girl and Girl on the Train (aren't all thrillers lately...?!) and looked like an enjoyable quick read.

More Moaning by Karl Pilkington
'Karl is back on the road once again looking for answers to some of life's big questions. In his inimitable style, he tackles the juicy subjects of health, art, values, identity and pollution. Will his travels around the world reveal the meaning of life? Find out in this hilarious new book.'
I love Karl and find everything he does hilarious. I have listened to the old podcasts so many times I know all the words, his TV shows are brilliant and this is his latest book that accompanies series 2 of The Moaning of Life. I've read all his others books and enjoyed them hugely so I'm sure this will be no different.

A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled by Ruby Wax
'500 years ago no-one died of stress: we invented this concept and now we let it rule us. We might have evolved to be able to miraculously balance on seven-inch heels, but as far as our emotional development is concerned we're still swimming with the pond scum. If we don't advance our more human qualities then we're doomed evolution-wise to become cyborgs, with an imprint of an 'Apple' where our hearts used to be. Ruby Wax shows us a scientific solution to these modern problems: mindfulness.'
I watched a documentary a few years ago about mental health by Ruby Wax and really enjoyed it and have heard great things about this book. I am looking forward to this for two reasons: 1. I could do with some advice on how to manage anxiety and 2. there is input from a cognitive therapist which interests the psychology student in me.

Do it Like a Woman by Caroline Criado-Perez
'Every day, all over the world, women are making a positive difference to their lives and the lives of the people in their communities. Most of these women are cut off from the rhetoric and theory of Western feminism; many are active in deeply patriarchal and socially restrictive societies; some may not even describe themselves as feminists. Nevertheless, these women are proving to themselves, and to the world, that a powerful force for change can sometimes start with a single brave action.

In Do It Like A Woman, Caroline Criado-Perez, an outspoken activist and campaigner, uncovers these stories and investigates what they mean for the feminist movement as a whole. She gathers together stories from beatboxers in Malta and prostitutes in Merseyside to fighter pilots in Afghanistan and doctors in Portugal, and shows how women are taking positive, practical steps to challenge injustice or inequality, and change their world. While some of these stories (the Everyday Sexism campaign and the trial of Pussy Riot) are already known, the majority of the stories here have not yet been told, and demand to be heard.'

I have so many feminist non fiction books on my wishlist I decided I wanted to start getting them so I could carry on reading up on a subject I have a big interest in. I think the idea of interviewing woman over the world who achieved amazing things is such an inspiring and positive idea for a book too.

Men Explain Things to Me: and Other Essays by Rebecca Solnit
'Rebecca Solnit's essay 'Men Explain Things to Me' has become a touchstone of the feminist movement, inspired the term 'mansplaining', and established Solnit as one of the leading feminist thinkers of our time - one who has inspired everyone from radical activists to Beyoncé Knowles. Collected here in print for the first time is the essay itself, along with the best of Solnit's feminist writings.

From rape culture to mansplaining, from French sex scandals to marriage and the nuclear family, from Virginia Woolf to colonialism, these essays are a fierce and incisive exploration of the issues that a patriarchal culture will not necessarily acknowledge as 'issues' at all. With grace and energy, and in the most exquisite and inviting of prose, Rebecca Solnit proves herself a vital leading figure of the feminist movement and a radical, humane thinker.'

This book has been on my radar for a long time, I've heard a lot of positive things about it and the blurb sounds brilliant. I've got the audiobook of this one, as it is just a couple of hours long I thought it would be interesting to try a non fiction audiobook compared to my usual thrillers choices.

9 Things to buy YOURSELF for Valentines day...

Single this Valentines Day? Yeah, me too, but instead of moping about why not treat the most important person in your life: YOU.
This Valentines Day practice some all important self care because you deserve it. Here's my picks...

1. Self Care enamel pins from Motivational Tattoo [here]
2. Some nice coffee
3. Self Care stickers from Beau Brannick [here]
4. Some fresh flowers
5. Lush With Love gift box [here]
6. Swear Word Colouring Book [here]
7. Milkshake Bar recipe book [here]
8. Punky Pins 'Single With Cats' enamel pin [here]
9. Some nice chocolates. My choice: Lindt.

I hope your Valentines Day is nice and relaxing whatever you are doing x

An easy way to customise a bag...

I've been in need of a new bag for a while but despite countless searching just can't seem to find one I particularly like. I like my accessories to be a little on the quirky side so decided to decorate my own. I bought a pastel pink bag satchel style or a fiver on Ebay as that was the colour I decided would work best then set to work with my pin and patch collection.



Although It's simple I'm really pleased with how it came out and it was really easy to decorate! You can find all sorts of cute badges, pins and patches to decorate in your own style but here are some links to some of the stuff I used...

Most of the enamel & acrylic pins (and Wednesday Addams patch) are from Punky Pins
Buffy Sunnydale High pin [Ebay]
Mia Wallace acrylic pin [Ebay]
'Cute' acrylic pin [Ebay]
Vote Brody Homeland badge [Ebay]
L.S.P. Adventure Time badge from a set from Forbidden Planet