Monthly Archives: August, 2010

Parfums Love

Ever since I first heard I would be getting this set of perfumes I have been looking forward to them arriving as I love perfumes and collect them for both the beautiful bottles as well as the scents.

The EDT comes in some very pretty heart shaped bottles with colour coded caps matching the caps on the body fragrances. The outer packaging is fun and this matches the design on the body fragrance cans with the same name and survived being posted to me in a jiffy envelope so must be fairly robust. However, as you will notice from the photographs below the bottles are less than half the size of the boxes they come in so a bit excessive and misleading unless you are the sort of person who reads and understands volumes on perfume bottles. The EDT’s are 15ml (0.5 fl.oz) and the body sprays are 50ml (32g or 1.7 fl.oz) These perfumes retail around £3.99 and the body fragrances are £1 and they are squarely aimed at teens and tweens as can easily be seen on their website


The blurb on the website describes this as “The scent that allows the mystical feeling that takes you on a love filled journey. Run away and be set free with the scent that is all you and your love need.” it then goes on to describe the things you are supposed to be able to smell but on trying both the EDT and the body fragrance I have to say I really dont agree with it. The predominant smell is a very chemical one which is not very nice at all and this is followed by a very slight citrussy scent which soon vanishes again leaving behind just the chemical smell which is most unplesant but luckily doesn’t seem to last. This one really does show that most times you get what you pay for!


The website defines this one as “A scent for girls who want and believe in an idyllic love and true happiness”

I found this one to be very light and fruity, you can easily smell the blackcurrent that they tell you you should be able to in both of the products but not much beside it. I would definately say that this is my favourite of the three scents that I received. It isn’t very long lasting nor very powerful but it does smell lovely and fresh.


This is described as “A fruity scent, all about the two of you and nothing else matters……”

As soon as I sprayed this one I could smell the pineapple and then the mango/papaya crept in but then unfortunately so did the same chemical smell from the “Lost in Love” scent as well but it doesn’t seem to linger this time and soon it blends back to a fresh fruity scent thats really light and very pleasant.  This one actually apprears to be the most long lasting of the fragrances from the testing I have done and so if you can ignore the brief chemical taint, it’s wearable.

All in all I have to say that for the price these really aren’t that bad, well, other than the first one I mentioned anyway! They are obviously made with synthetic ingredients and very far below the level of most of the rest of my collection but 2 out of the 3 will be going in to my ones to use and the 3rd, well, the bottle’s very pretty!lol

It’s easy to see that most of the money for these products has gone into the design of the exterior, the bottles and the packaging of these very pretty items make them easy to pick up as a last minute, low cost gift. However, I think that if the same care and thought had gone into the products inside the bottles, those same girls receiving the gift would go on to re-buy this product instead of moving on to better things from other brands.

After you by Julie Buxbaum

Most works of fiction start out in fairly normal circumstances, we get to know the characters and then something happens and we see how they deal with the aftermath of the event be it good or bad and then we leave the characters in most cases wondering how things went from there, especially if the book was so well written we came to care for the protagonists. This book is different from most because that is the point at which we join the characters.

We see the story unfold from Ellie’s point of view, as we join her she’s comforting Sophie, the eight-year-old daughter of her recently murdered best friend, Lucy. Ellie has dropped her job and the husband she’s been slowly drawing away from to go and comfort her goddaughter through this traumatic time in London, three thousand miles away from her home in Boston. As we journey through the days of trying to get life back on track, we see these two broken people bond over the reading of a childrens book, The Secret Garden.

As each persons story unfolds we learn the reason why Ellie feels so strongly that she needs to be with Sophie right now, we watch the hurt surface as she finds out Lucy had been holding back before she was taken from them about what her life in London had really been. We see Greg coming to terms with the loss of his wife and suddenly having to deal with nightmares and bedtime stories instead of his legal work and the late nights he was used to. And then there’s Sophie, already grown-up well beyond her years in so many ways and yet still so much a child who mostly doesn’t have the words to explain what she’s feeling.

There are good things that happen to those around this nebulous grouping but to tell you those would take away the joy they bring when you need them to in this sad and yet life affirming tale. The true joy of this book is in how amazingly well each character is written, there are no hero’s or heroine’s here, just real people struggling to cope in the aftermath of losing a loved one.

When I heard about this book I was intrigued by it, wondering if it was my sort of book at all as I normally read happy books or ones with mysteries that get resolved but something about it caught my attention and made me want to read it. When I began it I pushed aside all my feelings of apprehension and just concentrated on the story. I am so glad I did, it caught my imagination very quickly and soon I was involved in all of their lives, I laughed and shed a few tears as I traversed the months alongside Ellie as she tries to come to terms with everything that is happening to and around her and when I turned the last page I felt at peace. Yes, bad things do happen but they dont break us as much as we think they will when they first happen and that is the message I have taken from this book. I probably won’t read it again for a while but when times are bad, this would be a great book to read to give hope that things will get better. In my experience, then generally do, we just need something to remind us of that 🙂

Letter to Santa Giveaway

I received this card a few years ago but having no children ourselves I’d always intended on giving this away but obviously not got round to it yet, yes, my memory is goldfish-like!lol

If anyone would like it, I know Christmas is a way off and some of you really dont want to think about it yet but someone might! Just leave me a comment on this post, if only 1 person wants it, it’s yours, if more than 1 do, I’ll do a random draw as I have with the other Giveaways I have done. Anyway, here’s what the card looks like:

I’ll check back at the end of the month (31/08/10) and see if anyone wants it as that gives everyone a chance to see this post with all the holidays people are having at the moment 🙂

Nelsons Arnicare – Bath & massage balm

I was recently sent this lovely product to test and give my views on prior to it’s launch next month and have been testing it out for the last couple of weeks and have found it to be incredibly helpful for me.

I tend to suffer with restless legs at night which leads to every few weeks I will suffer cramps in my calves waking me for a few days running. Once I received this I decided to try it out on those cramps, rubbing/massage doesn’t really help much other than to ease the current cramps and let me get back to sleep again.

I was woken earlier this week with my calf muscles cramping badly, I reached for the balm and poured a small amount into my palm and set about massaging to release the cramp and ease the ache it leaves behind. The first thing to notice is the smell, it’s faintly lavender and slightly medicinal but not unpleasantly either. I found the balm quickly warmed and was absorbed easily into my skin but still leaving me slick enough to continue rubbing. I found that my cramp eased and the aches were gone in a much quicker time than normal and after washing my hands I was quickly on my way back to sleep. Most surprising for me was that I next woke in the morning, usually I am woken several times a night with cramps once I have had them once and usually it continues on for the next 2/3 nights. The next night I thought about it and decided to try massaging the balm into my legs before going to sleep, I did and found I slept straight through, on the 3rd night (when I would usually still be being woken) I decided to not use the balm and see what happened and again I slept through with no recurrence.

I have also used the balm to ease the aches and pains associated with exercise and found it to be very effective. I pushed myself on the treadmill this week and by the end of the day one of my legs had become so sore it was painful to put weight on it. I massaged the area that was causing the pain to me and within a minute or two the pain eased right off and I was able to continue on with my day without further pain or effect from the extra exertion.

The balm may also be used in a bath and I can see it being very helpful used that way, I personally do not like baths prefering showers and when I do enjoy a bath I prefer to let the child in me loose and have bubbles rather than oils! But all in all, this is a product that I will be keeping in stock and would recommend trying especially to those who, like me, are just getting into regular exercise and suffer from the aches and pains that make it most difficult to get into a routine.

More information on this and their other products can be found on Nelson’s website alongside some fascinating information about arnica and it’s uses.

African Black Soap

I did a trade a few months ago with Ben & Jerry’s via a Fairtrade promotion they were running. I offered to send three of my friends a gift in return for some Shea butter and Black soap. I was lucky enough to have my bid chosen as the winning one and duly sent off gifts to 3 volunteers who in turn told Ben & Jerry’s that I had completed my side of the deal and my bid was then accepted as the winning one. It was a fun competition to take part in and I know a few of my friends were also lucky enough to have their bids accepted as well.

I was really pleased to win this prize as I’ve been using shea butter products for some time now and know how nice it makes my skin feel so I was naturally curious about the pure substance and the black soap, I’ll review the shea butter itself once I’ve tested it a bit longer and more fully but now onto my review of the soap.

The first thing I noticed was that there is no real scent to this soap, after years of using various types this came as a big surprise to me and I became a little sceptical about if I would like it as part of soap use for me has always been the smell, it’s always been how I choose which one to buy when shopping and probably the reason for how dry my hands have become! After getting over this and discovering that black soap is not actually black but more a creamy brown colour I decided to test it out and this is where I made the biggest mistake. When you buy the soap you can normally purchase it in either 100g bars or 1k blocks, mine came as bars and I assumed that is how you use it like all soaps but it isn’t! The soap becomes very soft and tacky very quickly when wet and doesn’t dry very well even in a soap dish so I waited it out till it was dry and cut it into 4 pieces which seems to be a much better way of using the bars. The bars cut very easily with a sharp knife, they are a lot softer than they appear!

Now on to using it, it’s only this year that I have returned to bars of soap after years of using handwash. I had forgotten how good it can feel to use a bar of soap, it takes the clean hand feeling to a totally different level that liquids cannot match. Well, this soap actually goes even further than that. Within a couple of rubs of the bar you have your hands full of a rich creamy lather, as you rub it around it feels more like rubbing in a hand cream than using soap, it is an experience that I found very pleasurable and after rinsing and drying my hands I found I did not need to use a hand cream, my hands felt wonderfully moisturised, very soft and smooth. I then set about thinking of a way to test it in the shower (bath would be no problem as you can just put it back on a dish when finished with to dry) The way I came up with was to pull a piece off about the size of a small grape and I pushed this into my shower puff, this worked very well and I found I had the same results again as I did with my hands, my whole body felt wonderfully clean, moisturised and cared for. I then came up with an idea!

I was sure I’d read somewhere online (I’m not sure where) that black soap is good for the hair/scalp so I decided to try it out, I still had some of the piece of of soap left in the puff so, once the puff was full of the creamy foam I rubbed it into my hair, I found it wasn’t like using shampoo, there was no instant lather and to a certain extent I couldn’t feel it on my hair at all. I rinsed off and then discovered that my hair felt much different to normal. My hair is very fine so I’m used to being able to wring it out after washing but I found I couldn’t. I thought for a minute and assumed it meant my hair must have gone really greasy from the shea butter in the soap but decided to dry it and find out for sure what had changed as I could always wash it again and I am so pleased I did! My hair wasn’t feeling strange due to greasyness, it was streange due to it being much much thicker and fuller than it has been since the disasterous bleaching attempt in the 80’s but this time it feels soft and silky and looks really healthy.

I love this product and can see myself using it for years to come, all I will say to you is, if you decide to try it, please make sure you get real African black soap and not one of the cheap imitations that are being mass produced in Europe and America!

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