Christmas, lifestyle, reviews

Christmas Bouquet with Prestige Flowers*

A bouquet is a lovely gift for a family member you might not be seeing over Christmas and these seasonal ones from Prestige Flowers are beautifully packaged and can be delivered to the door of your recipient. 

My bouquet came with its own vase, saving me from having to climb up and get one from the top of the kitchen cabinet, and a delicious box of chocolates. Bouquets can also be ordered alone or with a bottle of wine or champagne. 

I tried to decide where to display my beautiful bouquet, with the tree, on it’s own, these flowers ended up with their own photo shoot! In the end they wound up on a bookshelf. But they looked pretty good anywhere, don’t you think! 

*this post contains gifted or sponsored items but all words and opinions are my own. 

books, Illumicrate, reviews

Book Review: City of Brass – S.A. Chakraborty

I received this as an ARC in the most recent Illumicrate, although it has now been published. 

I hadn’t read a huge amount about this book before receiving it although randomly I follow the author on Twitter so who knows. 

I read it in one sitting, it was that good. Compelling writing, interesting plot and characters, clever world building. I just thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Nahri is an orphan who makes her living selling cures and telling people’s futures in a Cairo market, until one day she’s asked to perform an exorcism and things become very weird. 

Using characters and creatures from Middle Eastern mythology, Chakraborty creates an incredibly vivid world where myth and magic collide with our world. 

I cannot wait for the next book. As I finished this one I was going “but no, more story, now please!” 

If you enjoy fantasy then this is a book for you. 

Anyone else read it? If so what did you think? 

books, Illumicrate, lifestyle boxes, reviews

Illumicrate #9 November 2017

It’s here! I get a bit excited by this subscription box because, well, books. They’re not only my favourite thing but Illumicrate often has special editions and exclusives long before anyone else. 

This is no exception. 

Artemis by Andy Weir, exclusive edition. I didn’t read The Martian  (the one turned into a Matt Damon film I didn’t see either) but I have been getting a bit more into sci-fi recently and C loves it so this is definitely getting read. 

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty, advanced reader copy (ARC). This book is published next year but subscribers get an ARC now. I’ve heard a lot about this book and I believe I follow the author on Twitter. Look out for a review soon (aka once I’ve read it!) 

Bookish Tea Towel designed by @evannaveillustration exclusive to the box. I like this, it’s fun, it’s bright. It’s just a nice thing to have really. 

“The Right Book” print designed by @nutmegandarlo exclusive to the box. It’s well documented that I don’t like J.K. Rowling much but I do agree with this sentiment. 

Unicorn Journal designed by @prismofstarlings exclusive to the box. This is lovely and brings the number of 2018 diaries/journals I have up to about 5. 

Reading in Bed candle designed by @merakicandles exclusive to the box. This smells so much like hot chocolate that I have to refrain from licking it. So good. 

Moon and Stars necklace designed by @ohpandaeyes exclusive to the box. Such a cute necklace that pairs excellently with Artemis. 

This Mortal Coil sampler by Emily Suvada 

Iron Gold sampler by Pierce Brown 

Artemis booklet & bookmark 

This is an excellent box and one I am happy to spend my money on. Really makes it up after a month of uninspiring beauty boxes – books ftw. 

I am really excited by these books. If you need me I’ll be reading and sniffing my candle (honestly I don’t know how I can avoid eating it!) 

beauty, beauty boxes, reviews, skincare

Tili Beauty Box from QVC

Tili is a beauty box from home shopping network QVC but it’s not a subscription box. You can purchase it as a one off for £20 including postage. I ordered mine on Monday and it arrived Thursday – which is super fast. 

While most of the items are sample size, all of them can be purchased on the QVC website full size which makes this more of a test it and see box than some others. Till actually stands for Try It Love It – something I only just got from the box’s inside lid, duh. 

Tula Exfoliating Treatment Mask 

Taya Red Clay Naturals Miracle Balm

Pixi Glow Booster 

Korres Water Lily Blossom Shower Gel

Erno Laszlo Firmarine Hydrogel Mask

Decleor Aroma Cleanse 1000 Grain Body Exfoliator 

Bio-Extracts Glow Boost

Laura Gellar Lash Boss Mascara 

Philosophy Purity Cleanser

Nails Inc. Nail Polish 

I really like this concept and can’t wait to test out all these goodies – although obviously I have to be careful with my sensitive skin (and winter is kicking my arse in terms of skin issues) but hopefully I will find some new favourites. 

Have any of you tried a Tili box? What did you think? 

baking, food, giveaway, reviews

Colourful Cooking with Vremi* and Giveaway!  

In the ramblingmads household we do love a kitchen gadget – it’s the only way to get C in the kitchen sometimes. 

When the team at Vremi got in touch about these bright and cheerful useful tools I was really pleased. Another job for C! 

Isn’t the packaging fun, although I don’t find the cake cases as funny but that might just be me not finding drug taking giggle-worthy. 

Firstly we have these clever little cutters – designed to slice and dice fruit and veg, reducing your cutting time and helping you deal with tricky things like mangoes. 

I hadn’t seen one like this with interchangeable blades, usually you have to buy each one seperately. 

This has 3 different blades – Apple, mango and potato. All you have to do is press down into your chosen fruit/veg and ta-dah! You’re done. No more hacking with a knife. 

And it goes in the dishwasher  (which has replaced C in our house). 

Next up is these bright and fun cupcake cases, made of silicone and dishwasher proof. 

These are again super easy to use – they can take the hot temperature of an oven without going weird and melting, as well as helping your muffins stay firm. 

And here’s the fun part  Win the Vremi Silicone Baking Cups and Apple Slicer just click the link and follow the instructions. Giveaway ends December 15th and winner will be notified by the company. 

*this post contains gifted items but all words and opinions are my own.

beauty, beauty boxes, glossybox, make up, reviews, skincare

Glossybox – not a special edition this month

So we’re back to the pink and black livery of the box after several fancier ones. 

But the contents can still be special I hear you cry. Well you’re wrong – it’s just ok. 

Between promoting the £59 Glossy drawer and changing all your Glossydots (which used to get you a free box) to points for lookfantastic’s website  (They do their own box so we’ll see how that pans out) it seems the team at Glossy HQ didn’t quite find 5 awesome things this month. 

One of them is actually from Boots own brand range – something I’ve never seen before in a beauty box. As Alice said of Wonderland “curiouser and curiouser”. 

Green Frog Botanic Natural Body Wash in Relaxing Geranium & Peppermint (RRP £8.95) – I’m never entirely sure what’s supposed to be relaxing about washing. It’s pretty much something we do so people don’t sniff on public transport and stare pointedly. 

Sportfx Candy Floss Moisturising Lip Balm (RRP £ 4.99) – this tastes like Lush’s candy floss lip scrub, which is basically sugar. What do you mean I’m not supposed to eat it? What are you, my dentist? (If you are and you’re reading this, I’m sorry). 

Boots Ingredients Charcoal & Willow Bark Sheet Mask (RRP £2.50) – I like my sheet masks on the slightly ridiculous side price wise especially in a beauty box, y’know, a bit exclusive. Not one I can chuck in a basket with deodorant and hairspray. Also my skin hates all charcoal based products  (based on a not remotely scientific experiment with charcoal facewash) – one for human guinea pig and fiance then. 

Beauty UK Cosmetics Contour/Powder Brush (RRP £6.99) – it’s a make up brush for blending and buffing. I have about a million, mostly from beauty boxes, mostly for the same reason. And yet I cannot find another of my perfect-for-eyes Lottie London brushes anywhere (I think it’s been discontinued). 

Collection Cosmetics Define & Perfect Eyebrow Powder in Blonde (RRP £4.19) – dirty blonde to be precise. And it seems to have dried up as I couldn’t seem to locate any powder in the tune or on the pointy brush thing  (not a spoolie just a plastic nib). 

There you have it, an ok box, I will eat (I mean use) the lipbalm and the body wash, the brush will move in with all the other brushes in my life, C will get another face mask (sheet masks on bearded men are hilarious, trust me) and the eyebrow thing will move to the bin.  

books, Christmas, reviews

Book Review: Mr Dickens and his Carol – Samantha Silva*

A mysterious parcel arrived….

Inside was this marvellous new book, all in time for Christmas (and some chocolate coins to munch while I read).

Now, Dickens’ book A Christmas Carol is hugely famous and has been adapted multiple times (my favourite’s the Muppets version). 

But Samantha Silva goes behind the tale of Scrooge, ghosts and little Tim Cratchit, to the story of a story. 

Silva deftly conjures the crowded streets of Victorian London to life, complete with hawkers and drunks, salesmen and pickpockets. 

Dickens is in a bind – his last book isn’t selling well and his publishers want a Christmas book, but with just weeks to go can Dickens craft a bestseller in time? 

I have a rather complicated relationship with Charles Dickens and his books, finding them overly pious and pompous, perhaps I just live in the wrong era. 

However I do like books about books and this is definitely that. Weaving a narrative out of a handful of known facts about the writing of Carol, I enjoyed this book quite a bit. 

Definitely worth wrapping a copy up for the reader in your life.