Thursday, 28 January 2016

Brand review - WineFriend

Kia Ora!

Who loves wine? I know I do! I found this subscription by WineFriend on Facebook (I think), and immediately jumped on it. I hate trying to buy wine in the supermarket, I end up buying the one either with the best discount, or with the most awards on the bottle. Not the best way to choose. I love the idea that someone else will pick my wine, and I just have to drink it. You may have seen me on my Facebook and Instagram enjoying the bottles that were chosen for me. (Disclaimer right from the outset: I spent my own money on this, and was not sent anything for free. I was treated as any other customer). My partner and I ordered this subscription to share, and as we have different taste preferences there may be some things we disagree on - which makes things a little more interesting.

How does the subscription work:
Firstly, fill in a survey about your tastebuds. Then sign up for a subscription. You can choose 5 red and 1 white, or 3 red and 3 white, or 5 white and 1 red. I chose 5 white because I'm a big fan of white wine, and do not really enjoy red wine.

Next choose your price range - $99 per month (or per two months) for Easy Everyday, $149 for the Treat Yourself option, and $249 for the Icons and Innovators. We picked the $99 option, as we aren't connoisseurs, and also not filthy rich. This option works out to be about $16.50 a bottle, which is about what we would spend at the supermarket anyway. You can have your wine delivered monthly, or bi-monthly. I chose bi-monthly to start with as I wasn't sure how fast we would drink it. (I've since changed to monthly, because we drank all the wine quite quickly).

Last of all pick a delivery location. I've chosen to get mine delivered to my work, as it must be signed for (by someone over the age of 18). This worked out very easily, as it was delivered just about to my desk! I ordered just before Christmas, and WineFriend was able to change the date of delivery by a few days so I could get it when I needed (and didn't miss out because of the holidays). Even before delivery I was impressed with the customer service.

The wine came packaged in a sturdy cardboard box. It was easy to carry, although heavy, and I had no trouble getting it home. There are tags around the neck of each bottle, with notes about the wine and it's winemaker. It's a great way to know more about the wine and where it came from!

There was a card included that shows you how to rate the wine, how to taste and a few other tips about wine and the WineFriend service. It also had a handwritten note, which is a neat touch!

This is an example of the neck label that each bottle had. These neck labels have some tasting notes for each wine, as well as a little bit about the winemaker, and the winery. It was interesting to know a little more, and things that won't normally be printed on the bottle. It made the service seem a bit more personal.

One bottle is included as a "wild card" - something outside of your comfort zone and is designed to expand your palate. This Vin Gris was our wild card, and continue on to see what I thought about it (I'm not going to do tasting notes as I'm rubbish at identifying flavours in wine, but will give other thoughts on the bottles).

Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

I'm not a red wine fan, but this bottle surprised me. I loved it! I put it on my Instagram as soon as we opened it, and ended up drinking the whole bottle that night (shared with my partner) because it was so good! I was surprised to see a cork, and we had a bit of a mad scramble to find a corkscrew, but it was worth it! When smelling the wine I could smell the tannin's, but I couldn't taste them as strongly as in other red wine I've tried.

Blackenbrook Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2015

I'm a huge fan of Savvy Blanc's, so I was excited to see two bottles in my case. It's usually the type of wine I order at restaurants (that or bubbly). This bottle was ... ok. It wasn't bad, but I felt like saying "I've had better". It was still a nice wine, but not entirely to my tastes, although I can't explain exactly why. I didn't decide to do a wrap up review like this until after we were three bottles into the case, so I don't have detailed notes about it unfortunately.

Caythorpe Family Vineyard Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Honestly, I don't remember drinking this one. It was around Christmas time, when there was a LOT of wine flowing. It didn't stand out to me, in good or bad ways, so I can't really say much. Sorry guys, I was on holiday and clearly not concentrating on anything but actually drinking the wine ...

Leveret IQ Premium Brut NV

Bubbles are my favourite kind of wine, so I was pretty sure I would like this bottle, and I did. My partner wasn't a fan of this one, so I had the whole bottle to myself (score!). It wasn't sweet at all, which I quite liked, and tasted great. My usual go-to with bubbles is to order whatever my aunt orders (when we are out, and she knows what tastes good), or to just buy a bottle of Lindauer. Not the most sophisticated of wine drinkers, but this was great!

Wairau River Malborough Rose 2015

I like rose, sometimes. Often it tastes too much like red wine, but this was a great bottle. I liked the blend and we drank it pretty quickly. I think we had it before Christmas, and it was the first one we opened. After trying some, my partner and I looked at each other, and promptly decided that this was a great service, and we would be getting lots more wine from Winefriend!

Quest Farm Alpino Central Otago Vin Gris 2014

I wasn't sure at all about this bottle when I saw it. White wine made with red wine grapes. Hmmm. But once we opened it (at my partner's birthday BBQ and promptly posted on Instagram) I couldn't help but love it. It had a bit of a different flavour - which for the life of me I can't describe - but it went down a treat. We did share this one with family members, and everyone seemed to love it so it was clearly a great pick.

One of the best things about this service, is the feedback form. It's located in your account on their website, and is simple to use. You type the brand, type or any key word into the search bar, and click on the right wine when it pops up. Then you can rate it with a happy smiley face, a medium face, or a sad face. There is also an ability to write comments (which you can see I've used a couple of times above). I love that this is an option, and that it will help tailor future wine deliveries more towards my tastes. Be aware though that if you share a subscription (like my partner and I), then there will be long discussions about which kind of face each bottle warrants. My partner would have preferred a 5- or 10-step rating system for more accuracy (he's an engineer and all about accuracy).

And that's the subscription. I truly enjoyed getting some delicious wine, without the stress of wondering if the wine was any good. Despite not liking (or remembering) every bottle that came in the case, I can say that each bottle was of a better quality than what I usually buy. I experienced types of wine that I would never try on my own, and loved some of them a lot more than expected.

Some of the best things about this subscription:
  • Price is reasonable (price per bottle is about what I'd pay at the supermarket).
  • Delivery to you at work - no fear of the case being stolen or left in the sun.
  • Wine is great quality!
  • They tailor your wine to your taste profile.
  • There is room for your feedback! 
  • You will step outside your comfort zone. 
  • Neck tags that tell you a bit more about the wine/winery/winemaker.
There are some other awesome things that WineFriend offer (which I haven't had to try out yet). One of these is a refund/replacement of wine if you really hate it, as they want to send you wines that suit you specifically. To this end the feedback will hopefully increase the ability to match wine to individuals, and will get better over time. They will replace broken in delivery wine bottles, although with the packaging I doubt that will happen often. They also offer to sell you more of the bottles you particularly enjoy. You just have to email or call them to sort it out (and get a quote). 

One thing that I think could be improved is what the customer is able to do in the 'My Account' portal. Currently you have to email or call WineFriend to update details like delivery address, type of subscription, frequency of subscription, or pausing (if you're on holiday). The customer service is excellent, so contacting the company isn't a big drama, but it would be nice/easier to be able to control some of this myself. However, this is about the only thing I could say wasn't amazing about this whole experience.

I can highly recommend WineFriend. I've loved every aspect of the experience so far, and I received my second box of wine just minutes before posting this blog post, and I can't wait to get home and try one of them out! It's hot and humid here in Auckland today, so a chilled glass of wine will be wonderful later on.

Until next time ...

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Brand Review - Bossy Cosmetics

Kia Ora!

I've been drooling over the Bossy Cosmetics website for months now, and the new Vegan Emulsified Scrubs were just too tempting to resist. I treated myself to some of their lovely products, and wanted to share with all of you. I'm going to give a review of Bossy, especially the products I bought.

I opened my box (left sitting at the back door) to find four scrubs (Neopolitan, Ginger Kisses, Vanilla Whip and Salted Caramel, and Tutti Fruity), a Peppermint Bubble Bar, a lip scrub, and a Butter Balm Deoderant.

First of all, the packaging. Everything came well packaged. It was wrapped in tissue and bubble wrap, and there was no way anything would get broken. The scrubs were popped into cardboard boxes, wrapped in more bubble wrap and tissue, and sealed with a cute sticker! Each scrub had bubble wrap around  it, which was helpful when one of them leaked. It kept the leakage contained, and meant it wasn't too hard to clean up.

The containers that the scrubs are in are well sized, and fit the product well. There are two different tubs that the scrubs are in. The Neopolitan and Tutti Fruitti ones have an easy snap off piece to help remove the lid. The deodorant, Ginger Kisses, and Salted Caramel scrub have a snap piece that doesn't come off and I had to use scissors so there wasn't a hunk of plastic hanging off the side. 

Xmas Kisses Vegan Lip Scrub*
This is a pretty decent scrub. It has large sugar crystals (normal white sugar size) and smells great! It has quite a bit of oil in it - and unfortunately this has leaked outside of the container - but this leaves your lips moisturised as well as scrubbed. I like it, and am happy to be able to use it.

Peppermint Xmas Bubble Bar*
This smells wonderful! The peppermint scent is strong, but not overpowering. I haven't had a chance to try this out yet, as I don't have a bath. I have got plans to invade my aunt's house and take over her bathroom one weekend soon though, so I'll post a picture on Instagram when that happens.

Tutti Fruitti Vegan Emulsified Scrub*
This scrub smells fantastic! The sugar crystals are a large size and give a wonderful deep scrub. I got 5 uses out of this tub, but I was being generous with the product. If you were stingy, or only scrubbed your legs, you could get a lot more uses out of it. It smells fruity and sweet, and the scent lasts after the shower for a couple of hours. The oils and butters in the scrub leave your skin moisturised and soft, to the point where I didn't need to use any other moisturiser for at least 12 hours afterwards. Mmmmmm, I know I'll be getting some more of this one!

Neopolitan Vegan Emulsified Scrub*
This is the same great product as the Tutti Frutti scrub, with a different scent. It's a hit of creamy goodness as soon as you open the tub. Yum!

Salted Caramel Scrub and Vanilla Whip Topping
I opened this one, and was carried away by the deliciously sticky, deep scent of caramel. Salted caramel is one of my favourite things to eat/smell in the world, so I knew I would like this. The vanilla adds a sweet note, but the caramel is the overwhelming scent. It does appear to be sloppier than the Tutti Fruitti and Neopolitan, but I'm ok with that. There is sugar through both the brown and white parts, where I expected the white part to be less of a scrub. It's not a bad thing, just not what I expected.

I think because of the great product combined with such a wonderful scent, this is my favourite shower product right now!

Ginger Kisses Emulsified Scrub
The scents get better and better in regards to these scrubs! This one smells exactly like the Ginger Kisses you can buy at the supermarket! Wafting a light ginger scent, with tons of sweet creaminess, it's so awesome to use in the shower. Drool.

Butter Balm Deodorant
This smells like lemon meringue pie. It's delicious! It's a whipped formula, and you need a pea size amount per underarm. I made the mistake of using too much to start with, and it ends up all oily and gross. But the correct amount rubs in nicely, and keeps armpits dry for hours. The scent is light, but does hang around all day. I've never used anything other than roll-on deodorant, so it's a bit of a novel experience trying this out, but I enjoy it. I don't like that my hands are a bit gross after applying it; however, applying near a sink and immediately washing my hands remedies that issue nicely. 

Cookie Dough Scrub - Raspberry Shortcake and Vanilla
These were new products released in January, and I had to make a second order to include them in this post! They are a more solid version of the emulsified scrubs above. The Vanilla one is great, you simply pinch off a bit and use it, and you need a lot less than with the emulsified scrubs. The Raspberry Shortcake one appears to have too much oil in it, and was more liquid than solid. The scent also was a bit weird, almost unfinished. It wasn't as delicious as any of the other scents, and I don't particularly like it.

Vegan Chocolate Soap Bar*
This smells AMAZING! Strawberries and cream is a great combination, and I love the way this is presented. It's tempting to want to eat these little squares, but I'm more impressed with the versatility of it. You can choose to break off one square, or several, and can use the soap as you want. It cuts down on soap sitting in the shower getting wet and dissolving!

Well, that's some impressive products. I've been saying for awhile that I'm addicted to scrubs, and when my partner told me off for having 6-8 in the shower at the same time, I realised I might have a problem. Most of those were Bossy scrubs, and I've been having a great time testing them all out for this post. I really love the first four scrubs in particular, they all smell amazing and I know I'll be ordering more.

Have you tried Bossy before?

*PR sample and affiliate links included in post. 

Until next time ... 

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

7th Heaven Chocolate Mask Review

Kia Ora!

Today I've got something a little different for you - a blog post mainly created with pictures! I wanted to show all of you readers what it looks like when I put on a face mask. I've chosen the Chocolate Mud Masque by 7th Heaven (formerly Montagne Jeunesse). I love these single use sachets, not only because they are easy to store, but also because it's the perfect size to try out a mask. I can get two uses out of each packet, so I can get a great idea of what the mask is like.

Below is a series of pictures of me putting this mask on. I use a foundation brush (I think the one I'm using is from BH Cosmetics), as I like to have an even layer all over my face. This mask is a thick one, and smells like melted chocolate. Yum! It was easy to spread, thick but smooth. It dried after 30 minutes or so, and after I washed it off my skin was soft and smooth. I loved using this mask, and will be looking for it in the shops soon!

Me with 7th Heaven's Chocolate Mud Masque.

Opening the packet

The product in the packet

Applying the first part of the mask

I have a beard!

Making sure I target the problem areas to begin with

Spreading the mask, and making sure it's even. 
I hope that was interesting to see how I put a mask on. I highly recommend this one, I loved using it!

Until next time ...

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Monthly Book Wrangle - December

Kia Ora!

It's 2016, and below are the last books I read in 2015. It was a busy Christmas period for me, with a lot of travel, but I had a great time being able to find the time to read some of these.

I've recently created a Goodreads account, and have a goal of 45 books to read in 2016. Feel free to follow me there (if that's how it works, I'm not 100% sure as yet).

Shadows of Self Brandon Sanderson*
This is the fifth book in the Mistborn series. I read the first three a couple of years ago, and absolutely loved them! They had the same characters, and dealt with a dramatic, traumatic, and fantastical situation. I particularly loved how Sanderson made me love the villain by the end of it. The fourth one (which I haven't read) and the fifth one are set several centuries after the first three, and while they are in a similar world, a lot has changed. Shadows of Self was a great read, but I did feel quite lost for awhile about who the characters were, the differences between allomancy and feruchemy, and some of the nuances of the book were lost on me. I did fall in love with the characters, enjoyed the steampunky feel to it (combination of old-timey things with newer cars and technology), and the story was great once I was able to get into it. Basically, read as part of the series, don't skip the other books.

An Abundance of Katherines John Green
This book felt more like a piece of academic writing than young adult fiction. It was littered with footnotes (which I loved), and there are pieces of scientific formulae as well as intense mathematical equations scattered throughout the text. The main character, Colin, analyses his relationships with girls named Katherine after the latest one breaks up with him. He runs away, a la Jack Kerouac, and settles down in a tiny town to analyse his relationships and recover from heartbreak. This was a good book, a bit of hard work but well worth it. I felt like I was inside the head of someone on the spectrum, and it was an illuminating experience.

Paper Towns John Green
Quentin follows hidden clues left by Margo Roth Spiegelman and ends up in some strange places. Abandoned malls, theme parks at night, a conference room at the top of the tallest building, and a fictional town that exists only on a map. This is a great coming of age story, with the nerdy kid, the computer hacker, and the popular girls all participating in this drama. I enjoyed this book, it was a fun read with plenty of pace, and quick to get through. It teaches a lesson about being yourself and following your own path.

Dust Hugh Howey
I read Wool and Shift earlier last year, and enjoyed reading the last book in the Trilogy. I don't want to give too many spoilers for either this book or  the previous two, so I'm going to be very brief about this book. Basically, it was a great ending to the trilogy, wrapped it up nicely and followed on with the characters that had been the stars of the other books. It swapped perspective between various characters, which helped show what was happening in different places. I know this sounds really vague, but it was a good book, and a great series to read if you like dystopic fiction!

If You Find Me Emily Murdoch
This book blew my mind. It was completely absorbing, emotionally heartbreaking, and it has left a lasting impression. It's similar to Room by Emma Donoghue, with a perspective of a secluded/deprived/abused child coming back into the world and needing to learn to cope with society, being a public interest story, and their reintegration into a normal family/society. Carey, and her younger sister Jenessa, have lived deep in the forest for the last 10 years, depending on each other for survival. Their return to their father is traumatising, school is a foreign country, and both girls have trouble adjusting to a normal life. This book tugs on your heart-strings, and then rips them to shreds as the truth about the girls past comes out, and their attempts to adjust to their new lives and experiences is difficult. This novel is a wonderful example of the resilience of the human spirit, and how the power of love and family can keep you alive. Highly highly recommended, one of the best  books I read in 2015!

*PR sample and affiliate links. 

And that was my December reading folks. All really good books, and all recommended. Stay tuned for January, as that will be a big month! I participated in a reading challenge (check out my TBR list here), and would love to hear any recommendations for the future.

Until next time ...

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Empties October and November 2015

Kia Ora!

Continuing with Empties week, this is a very late Empties post. I hope you'll all forgive me! I don't quite know what happened (it was probably an influx of subscription boxes that needed unboxing, and empties got pushed to the wayside). Enjoy the wrap up of what I used in October and November of 2015.

Pantene Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo and Conditioner
I really like these products, and will happily repurchase them. I had a few samples and used them up while doing a bit of travel in November. I got a couple of uses out of each conditioner bottle, and about 4 uses from the shampoo. This duo leaves my hair soft, shiny, and strong, and I have a full size on standby for when I next need shampoo.  

Aveeno Daily Moisturising Lotion
These sample bottles last me about a week each, and I like that they last for a reasonable amount of time. I get a good idea about the product with a week to use it in. The lotion smells faintly like oatmeal, and is of a medium consistency. It sinks into the skin quickly, and leaves my legs soft. It isn't my favourite lotion as I prefer fruity scents, but it is a nice one.

MOR Marshmallow Hand Cream
This is a great hand cream. It sinks in and doesn't leave a greasy residue at all. The scent is strong and sticks around for a long time. It's not my favourite kind of scent, although I can't pinpoint exactly what I don't like about it. Highly recommended for the product itself, if not this particular scent. 

Etude House My Beauty Tool 3 Layer Cotton Puff
I've exclaimed my love for Etude House's cotton puff's before, and these are great too! They hold together well, and are thick enough to really soak in toner to apply to your face. You can also use them as an impromptu sheet mask, but I tend to be too lazy to do that.

Body Boudoir Sexy Body Shave
This stuff was ridiculous. It was a reasonably nice shaving gel, pink in colour and smelt nice enough. It was marketed as having pheromones in it, which made you more attractive. I don't know that it did that, and it sat in my shower for over 2 years before I eventually used it up. Very meh.

Skinfood Exfoliating Scrub
This wasn't my favourite scrub, and sat in my shower for 18 months or so before I finally used it up. I was using it as a body wash by the end, and it was not bad for that purpose. I didn't like the type of granules used, as I prefer a deeper scrub. However it's probably a nice exfoliant for those who like smaller beads, or have sensitive skin. It's a thick paste that contains nut shell particles, so no nasty microbeads (YAY)!

DD'ell Extra Vitalizing Serum
This was supremely average. It didn't really appear to do anything, good or bad. It was a thin serum which applied nicely, but didn't appear to have any noticeable effects. It has a dropper which makes it difficult to get product out when the bottle becomes emptier, and so I threw it out once it was too hard to get product out. There was probably at least 1/3 still left in it though.

Benenet Diamond Illuminator Ampoule
I really liked this ampoule by contrast to the DD'ell one. There was a multitude of tiny glitter particles in it, but they didn't appear to be overly obvious when on the face. This ampoule left my skin soft, smooth, and hydrated. I loved it.

Oz Naturals Hyaluronic Acid
I loved this serum. It visibly plumped my face, and I have a whole review of it (with some awesome pictures of it in use). Highly recommended. 

Butterfly Party Soap

Foamy Scrub - Hot Chocolate 
I love these scrubs. You can use the sugar for a great scrub, and it foams up so you can use it as a body wash too! This scent was exactly like hot chocolate, and I used it up very fast because I couldn't get enough!

Bath Whip - Viva La Juicy
The bath whips are lovely, they foam up and you only need a tiny bit to get properly clean. I love that the consistency is of a whip, but it is malleable enough to use as soap or shampoo (in a pinch). This scent was fruity, but not my favourite. The product was wonderful though!

Foamy Coffee Scrub - Mint Mocha
The combination of coffee and mint was lovely, and this was an awesome way to wake up in the morning. I loved using the coffee granules, and would happily buy a heap more!

Aloe Vera Lotion
This smelt amazing, but was very greasy. I used it on my legs, and had to wait a few hours for it to sink in. It was marketed as non greasy, but no matter what I tried (too much, too little, applying to wet skin, applying to dry skin) I couldn't get away from the greasy feel.

The Body Shop Body Butter Virgin Mojito
This is one of my favourite scents I've ever had from the Body Shop. It's full of zesty lime and minty fragrances. I can't get enough of it! The body butter is the same formula as all the other Body Shop Body Butters, which is to say it is intensely hydrating, and the scent lingers. It's a little greasy, but I apply before bed so it isn't really an issue. If this scent ever is released again, jump on it!

And there you have it. The things I used up in October and November last year. Phew! I'm off to have a glass of wine (I'm writing this at night). Let me know if you've used any of these products!

Until next time ...

Monday, 4 January 2016

Empties December 2015

Kia Ora!

I feel like I haven't done an Empties post for a long time (about 3 months). I seemed to run out of time recently, so this week is going to be full of the things I used up in the last few months, as well as the December Book Wrangle. Let's crack on and talk about my rubbish!

Tea is a large part of my life, so I like to share it with you. T2 Lamington  was one of the most delicious teas I've tried recently. It tastes exactly like a chocolate lamington, with the chocolate and coconut. It works really well with milk, and I truly enjoyed it.
Stash Ginger Breakfast Black Tea was a sample I received in a Bonjour Jolie box. I had this for breakfast. Honestly, the one thing I wish about this tea is that I had more of it! It was tasty, with a hit of ginger and deliciously deep and dark. It was great!

Beekman Shower Gel
This was from a sample from a Bonjour Jolie box too, and it was average. The scent wasn't anything special, although it wasn't offensive either. The small looking bottle did last for about a week though, so that was handy.

Divine Skin Hydrator In Shower Body Moisturiser
I really didn't enjoy this one. I got 1 and a half uses out of the bottle, and it left a thick layer on my skin after I washed it off. Blergh.

Health Basics Shampoo and Conditioner
These were a great size for travelling, but otherwise I don't have anything great to say about these. They dried out my hair, stripping it completely. It was shiny for a day but then it looked greasy and like it needed another wash.  

Secret Nature From Jeju Serum
I've been using this serum for the last few months, and my skin has been loving it. It's a creamy serum, a light gel, and it made my skin glow. It soaked in pretty easily, and layered well with all the other skincare products I use. I loved it, and I'm sad it is gone!

The Face Shop Pomegranate and Collagen Volume Lifting Essence
This claimed to have a fast-absorbing formula, and it truly does! I loved everything about it. It's a pink gel that smells a bit like floral perfume, but the scent dissipates quickly once applied. It left my fast hydrated, and plumper. I enjoyed using it, and am quite sad it's gone. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants a moisture boost in their skincare routine!

SoyBio+ Fermented Lumpoule
I had heard some amazing things about this, and was excited to finally be able to try them out. However when I used them, I broke out really badly. I always test products for at least 2 weeks before deciding whether to keep using them or not. After realising that it was this that was making me break out, I stopped using it. I did get it over a year ago from Memebox (my addiction comes back to bite me in the bum), so it could be expired. Either way, I'm not taking chances and stopped using it. 

Bump eraiser antibacterial wash
Guest review from boyfriend: "Didn't like it! It smelled of antibacterial, which could be me not liking the smell, but it basically smelt of hospitals. It foamed up ok at the start, but the gel rapily deteriorated to water and didn't foam at the end. This could be because the packaging let in water to dilute it, but it was water by the end of the bottle. To confirm, the viscocity is that of water."

Fortune Cookie Soap Salt Scrub - The Boy Who Never Grew Up
I loved the scent of this, and loved being able to try it out. I got 4 uses out of this tiny pot. The salt crystals were large, and gave a light scrub (not as deep as I always like, but a nice alternative for days when my skin doesn't need a deep scrub). Word of warning, don't get salt scrub in open cuts or scratches though, that wasn't pleasant.

Purederm Make-up Cleansing Tissues - Green Tea Extract
These were lovely and worked well. The tissues did what they were supposed to - i.e. stayed together and cleaned the grime off my face. I don't wear make up so never used them as makeup removal wipes, but they worked well for cleaning my face in the morning before heading out for the day.

Tosowoong 10 Hours 
I've talked about this stuff for about a year now, and it's still great. It leaves my hair soft, shiny, and looking great. It's a light leave-in conditioner, and perfect for help styling hair. I love it, and have about 6 more tubes in stock. 

That was the round up of my trash for December; mostly great, but with a couple of fails. Stay tuned for the October/November Empties later in the week!

Until next time ...

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Biannual Bibliothon Winter 2016 TBR

Kia Ora!

I stumbled across the Biannual Bibliothon while watching Youtube, and decided to participate in the reading challenges. I'm excited to complete some of these challenges, and it's a great incentive to read more books!

I'm publishing my TBR list to make myself a little more accountable, and I'll pop up a special book round up after the challenge. It takes place from 3-9 January.

The challenges are:

1. Read the group book: Soundless by Richelle Mead 
2. Read a book that's been sitting on your shelf for over a year.
3. Read a book over 300 pages.
4. Read a book from your favorite genre.
5. Reread your favorite book in a series.
6. Read a book based on it's cover. 
7. Read a book that's been recommended to you more than once.

Follow the action over on their Twitter!

1. Luckily I've already received Soundless in my November Owlcrate so I'll re-read it for the challenge.

2. William Shakespeare's Star Wars (Episode IV) by Ian Doescher - a friend gave this to me a few years ago, and while I geeked out at the time I've never actually read it. Past time I think.

3. Sheryl Jordan Winter of Fire - it's barely over 300 pages but I'm going to count it as I have a huge book futher on.

4. I'm choosing Pat Rothfuss' The Slow Regard of Silent Things for this challenge, as I've only read it once and I think I need to read it again. It was amazing the first time round, and I'm keen to see what else I can discover in a reread.

5. Tamora Pierce In the hand of the goddess. I loved these books as a kid, so it will be nice to see if they are just as good when I read them as an adult (and yes my copy is looking a little tattered in the photo above, it has seen a lot of love).

6. All Fall Down, Christchurch's Lost Chimneys by Geoff Rice. The cover has fascinated me for years, particularly as I have a personal connection to the Christchurch earthquakes. A copy recently came my way, and I'm really excited to finally get to read it.

7. Jim Butcher The Auronaut's Windlass was recommended to me by a few people (mainly when they saw it on my book shelves and exclaimed over it). I'll attempt to read this during the week, along with everything else. I'm optimistic!

Those are the books I'm going to be reading over the 3-9 January. I don't think I'll be doing much else, but I'm really looking forward to doing this.

Keep an eye out on my Twitter and Instagram for updates!

Until next time ...