Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Skin Organics Beauty Box: August: Self Care

When founder, Paula got in touch and asked if I'd like to review August's Skin Organics Beauty BoxI jumped at the chance! 

The box had been on my radar for a while as I know fellow beauty lovers like The Beauty Bank and the40somethingbeautyaddict are fans.

I felt like a kid in a sweetie shop when I opened up the box and discovered two totally new to me brands and a brand I'd heard of but not tried anything from before. 

August's theme is Self Care and inside are five organic and 100% natural beauty treats. Inside each box is a mixture of full and travel sized skincare, bodycare and beauty products. Subscribe for £21 plus £3.95 P&P a month, 3 month pre-pay £60 plus P&P or 6 months pre-pay at £114 plus P&P - see more info HERE.


The three new to me brands are -

Pure Purposehelpmeorganics and Guiltless Skin (which I was aware of but hadn't tried any of their products before). This is the kind of beauty box I'm after as new brands always excite me! I'll do fuller reviews of the products once I've had the chance to test them out.

From Pure Purpose there is a Turmeric & Orange Coffee Body Scrub & Mask 40g (RRP £4.90). I'm a huge fan of coffee scrubs so looking forward to testing this out.

From Corinne Taylor there are Balance Himalayan Bath Salts 70g (RRP £4.95). I've tried the Recharge salts before and loved them. Balance is scented with Rose Geranium, Cypress and Clary Sage.

Isla Apothecary's Reset Ritual Pulse Point Therapy 10ml (RRP £12) has been on the wishlist a while. Everything I've tried so far from the brand I've loved. An organic infusion of Roman Chamomile, Eucalyptus and Lavender calms and helps with stress and anxiety as well as helping to clarify muddled thoughts. 

From new to me brand helpmeorganics there is a room spray "Help me, it's way past my bedtime" 40ml (RRP £6.50) which helps to relax and calm before bed (I love the quirky name and look of the product). It contains melissa, lavender, eucalyptus and ginger essential oils.

The final item is from Guiltless Skin (a brand I've heard of) Organic Face Oil with Moringa, Rosehip & Argan Oil 30ml (RRP £18) which I'm looking forward to testing out.

There are also discount codes to use with each product - which is a lovely added extra. Do you subscribe to the Skin Organics Beauty Box?

*complimentary - sent for review

Monday, 14 August 2017

The Night Stalker by Clare Donoghue

Clare very kindly recently sent me her latest novel, The Night Stalker* (Detective Jane Bennett & DI Mike Lockyer #4)  (which was published last week). I mentioned on my book post at the end of July that I'd do a full review closer to publication date).

What a read it is! (it could be read as a standalone but in order to get to know the characters I'd suggest reading the books in order).

Mike Lockyer and Jane Bennett are sent to work on a case in Somerset. He's been told from those higher up to watch the DI in charge closely. The team in Somerset aren't happy with the intrusion of the Met.

A woman's body is found in a burnt out car in Somerset's Quantock Hills. Very loosely she has connections to Lockyer's daughter and he's keen to keep her safe from harm.  The locals are gripped with fear and superstition as where the body was found is the site of a grisly murder 200 years ago. The DI has been keeping previous deaths from them which are obviously linked to this death and it could mean that a serial killer is at large..

A fast paced, edge of the seat read which I devoured in two sittings! Highly recommend.

*complimentary - copy sent to me by the author

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Willowberry Nutrient Boost Collection

I've been testing out the fabulous Willowberry Natural Skincare Nutrient Boost Collection* which has recently been launched by beauty expert, Jenni Retourne, who knows everything there is to know about beauty. I actually just about fell off my chair when I found out via Jane's review that Jenni was behind this beautiful new range!

The products really are gorgeous, very effective, smell amazing and are made with superfood Chia seed, Rosehip and Vitamin E and are scented with Rosewood & Geranium which is the perfect "spa" like scent. The range is made for normal to dry skin types (although being more combination myself I've found my skin has loved in particular the Cleansing Balm* and the Treatment Oil*).

Willowberry Nutrient Boost Cleansing Balm (£27.95 - 100ml)* is a 100% natural balm which will lift all daily grime and make up easily and makes cleansing into a lovely ritual. It's a real treat for the skin and the senses (you'll see from the photo above how much I've been enjoying it!)

To use: massage the balm over dry skin before wetting your fingers and continuing to massage. Remove with a warm damp face cloth.

Willowberry Nutrient Boost Treatment Oil (£22.50 - 30ml)* is a light and easily absorbed oil which nourishes, repairs and regenerates the skin. It gives the skin an intensive boost of nourishing essential fatty acids, powerful antioxidants and vitamins which repair, moisturise and regenerate leaving the skin looking radiant and healthy (love).

To use: apply a few drops to the skin after cleansing massaging until fully absorbed. Follow with moisturiser if required.

Willowberry Nutrient Boost Day Cream (£24.50 - 60ml)* which absorbs easily, feels comfortable on the skin and gives a deep moisture boost. Skin feels deeply nourished and protected.

To use: Apply after the treatment oil both AM and PM.

You can buy the full 3 step collection with a free face cloth for £71.95 (instead of £74.95). See HERE for more information.

I've been enjoying using the collection and it's one of my favourite brands of 2017.  Have you tried Willowberry Natural Skincare yet?


Saturday, 12 August 2017

The Perfume Society: Scented Skincare

I noticed that the Scented Skincare set from The Perfume Society and in collaboration with Latest in Beauty had been reduced in price to £11 - I had a voucher code due to a problem with a previous order and couldn't resist picking it up for a bargainous £9.95! Even at £11 it is a real bargain (worth £75) (I think there are just a few remaining now - so if you want one be quick!)

Inside is:

Sukin Detoxifying Clay Mask 100ml (this is full size and worth £11.49!) I've been trying another couple of products from this brand so I'm looking forward to trying this detoxifying treat.

Aromatherapy Associates Renewing Rose Body Cream 40ml which smells heavenly. I've used this before and it's lovely.

Weleda Pomegranate Body Lotion 20ml which is the perfect size for holidays. It's packed full of good things for the skin, absorbs quickly and smells gorgeous.

MOA Fortifying Green Bath Potion 10ml shot (worth £4) I'm a huge fan of this bath product. See my review HERE.

Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Restore & Replenish Hand Cream 7ml I love this hand cream. See my review HERE. I'm saving this one for my mum!

This Works Sleep Plus Trouble Shooter 10ml which is a new to me product from a brand I love. You use it on neglected areas before you go to bed - like upper arms, decolletage, elbows and knees. Looking forward to testing it out!

Rosalena Rock & Rose Face Oil 5ml which I've used before and loved. See my review HERE.

Ultrasun Face SPF30 25ml (which is worth a tenner) and which I've used before and enjoyed. This one will be being popped in my handbag for use on the go.

Amie New Leaf Deep Pore Exfoliating Polish 25ml which is gentle and scented with Orange Blossom. I've already got one of these in my stash which I've not tried yet!

balance me Restore & Replenish Face Cream 15ml huge balance me fan and this size's great for holidays and I've used this lovely nourishing cream before.

The final item is a great branded make up/toiletries bag from Latest in Beauty. Did you pick up a Scented Skincare set?

Friday, 11 August 2017

Ravenscourt Apothecary: Blood Orange Hand Whipped Body Butter

I first tried Ravenscourt Apothecary way back in June '15 after spotting that Tamara sent some of their products in a green beauty swap with another blogger.

I couldn't resist the decadent (and good enough to eat) Blood Orange Hand Whipped Body Butter (60ml - £8) which has a citrus-sweet scent. It melts instantly on contact with the skin and is a real luxe comforting treat. 

Pure, Raw Organic Shea butter deeply nourishes and restores. Coconut, Jojoba and Sweet Almond moisturise.

To use: apply over the body after a bath or shower (it's "best applied in the evening, this way it can work its magic overnight".)

The simple but pretty packaging is recyclable. See the shop HERE. Have you tried any products by Ravenscourt Apothecary?

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Aesop Marrakech Intense Parfum 10ml

We are lucky to have an Aesop shop in Stockbridge in Edinburgh. I love that the assistants will give you samples to try (without you having to make a purchase). A few months ago I picked up the gorgeous Marrakech Intense Parfum 10ml rollerball (£65) (pricey but worth it!) and received a load of samples which I'm working my way through.

The perfume is divine - it's suitable for both men and women (as if you'd want to share!) and was created in collaboration with perfumer Barnabe Fillon. It's an evolution of Aesop's first fragrance and notes include neroli, jasmine, sandalwood, cedarwood and bergamot.  It's a beautiful spicy blend with floral notes.

To use: roll onto the neck and wrists as often as needed.

It's truly stunning and one which I'll buy again. What's your favourite Aesop product? 

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Bloom Perfumery: Yearly Sample Pack: My To-Buys

My Bloom Perfumery perfume subscription finished in June and I decided not to re-subscribe (I'd had a subscription for two years at this point) and as well as being pricey (but lovely) I was beginning to get a few repeats (some which I loved, some not so).

I've decided to let you know my stand out favourites which are firmly on the want list (I loved a lot but realistically I'm only picking the ones I might buy at some point).

July 2015Summer Florals

My favourite was the beautiful TARDES by Carner EdP 50ml (£85) - see my review HERE.

September 2015Autumn Scents

I totally fell for the glorious Coeur de Noir by Beaufort EdP 50ml (£95) which is quite unlike anything in my collection. It's a beautiful blend of ginger, ink, rum, leather, paper, vanillin with a base of cedar, tobacco and birch tar.

November 2015Male sample pack

In November, Bloom Perfumery mixed the sample packs up and the girls got the guys one and vice versa! I was initially a bit surprised by found I absolutely adored Cuirs by Carner EdP 50ml (£85) which is a smokey oud with leather and woods.

March 2016Iris 

I totally fell for the gorgeous Boszporousz by Nishane Extrait de Parfum (which is no longer stocked by Bloom Perfumery). It has notes of cypress, galbanum, sage, seaweed, gardenia, jasmine, amber, musk, oakmoss and patchouli

April 2016Citrus Breeze

My top pick is Phaedon's Verveine Figuier EdT 100ml (£69) a stunning fig perfume with verbena notes which is perfect for summer.

I think Carner is a brand I love! My top pick for May '16 is Costarela EdP 50ml (£85) which captures a Mediterranean breeze. It has notes of bergamot, saffron, hot sand accord, sea spray accord, ambrozan and Virginia cedar.

July 2016Continental Roses

PG13 Brulure de Rose EdP 50ml (£81.50) portrays the life cycle of a rose - from the bud to full bloom. It has notes of rosewood, rose, amber, musk, raspberry and sandalwood.

October 2016Exploring Labdanum

My favourite is again from a perfume house I love Beaufort - Fathom V EdP 50ml (£95) which has top notes of  juniper berry, tangerine, blackcurrant, green leaf and earth, with a heart of thyme, lily, jasmine, ylang ylang, ginger, black pepper and mimosa with a base of patchouli, vetiver, moss, salt, frankincense, Atlas cedar and amber.

April 2017Violets

I absolutely adored Violet Disguise EdP by Imaginary Authors 50ml (£90) which is a bon-bon violet flower interpretation with notes of plum, violet, dried fruit, balsam and amber.

May 2016Fragrant Travel

I've got to have two picks this month! My first is Palo Santo EdP by Carner 50ml (£85) which is simply beautiful. A creamy and lush woody blend with rich notes. It has top notes of Indian davana and rum accord, a heart of warm milk, Paraguayan guaiac and Venezuelan tonka beans with a base of Moroccan cedarwood, vetyver from Haiti and Dominican Republican amyris.

My second pick is Melodie de L'Amour by Dusita Extrait de Parfum 50ml - £250 (gulp) with top notes of gardenia, honey and tuberose, a heart of broom, Indian jasmine, lily of the valley and peach with base notes of cedar and musk.

So there you have it! My to-buy over my 2 year subscription (11) are any of these in your collection or on your wishlist?

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Corinne Taylor Spirit Room & Linen Mist

It's been a while since I've tried any products from Corinne Taylor's beautiful range.  I first discovered the range in May last year. A money off code popped up in my inbox and I couldn't resist a little buy..

The newish room & linen mists (100ml - £16) caught my eye and the one which appealed the most was Spirit - an earthy and grounding blend of organic Palo Santo, White Sage and Cedarwood which helps to clear unwanted energy in the space around you and provide a smoke free alternative to the traditional method of burning these sacred plants. 

The packaging simple but pretty and recyclable. The mist freshens the air and lifts the mood, is Vegan and free from synthetic fragrance, alcohol, parabens and SLS.

To use: shake well before misting through the air and onto linens for a tranquil and grounding experience.

It's a really beautiful mist with a herbal woody scent. Have you tried any of the mists from the range?

Monday, 7 August 2017

Love Lula: Isla Apothecary Neroli Body Oil

I've tried a couple of Isla Apothecary products before (their Jasmine Sunset Radiance Body Oil, Lemongrass+Rosemary Renew Foot Scrub and Blood Orange+Vanilla Sugar Scrub and loved them all). 

I picked their Neroli Body Oil 100ml (£32)* as part of my Love Lula LLABP choices for July.  I've really been enjoying testing it out - it really is a beautiful oil.

I also love the simple but gorgeous recyclable packaging and the fact that the products are handcrafted in small batches and use the finest raw and natural organic wild crafted ingredients. There are no parabens, phthalates, synthetic materials and preservatives and the products are Vegan.

The blend is simply exquisite it's a heady blend of neroli, petitigrain, mandarin, patchouli and frankincense which soothes the body and mind. It really is beautiful. Skin loving base oils of safflower, coconut, pumpkin, rosehip seed and Vitamin E nourish and the skin is left feeling moisturised, silky, softened and delicately scented.  

To use: use as a body moisturiser applying lavishly to the skin after a bath or shower, as a massage oil, a bath oil, it's gentle enough to use as a face oil or to tame flyaways.

I'm a huge fan and this lovely body oil will be replenished! What's your favourite Isla Apothecary product?

*sent to me as part of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program. All thoughts are genuine and my post contains 3 affiliate links

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Juno Skincare: Made with Peace, Love & Simplicity

Despite following Juno Skincare on Twitter I hadn't truly looked at the gorgeous Brighton based brand until I spotted they were featured in this month's Psychologies mag and of course I couldn't resist a little purchase..

I picked 2 products and founder and formulator Julie very kindly added a few samples.  The range is absolutely exquisite and the small sizes perfect try-me's before buying full sizes or for holidays. I'm very tempted by the Revelation Kit with Pixie Bag (always good to have back ups..)

The two products I picked up are:

Joie Face Oil 4ml (£8.90) which refines, balances and nourishes all skin types. Absorbing instantly it leaves the skin moisturised, toned and glowing. Use AM and PM. It's such a beautiful oil and my skin is loving it.

Ingredients: Kiwi Seed oil, Rice Bran oil, Borage oil, Pumpkin seed oil, Pomegranate oil, Argan oil, Ylang Ylang, Patchouli, Linden Blossom, Geranium, Frankincense and Rose essential oils, Rosehip & Vitamin E oils.

Julie-Anne EdP 5ml (£7) which has been blended to capture long summer days and travel to far-away places. With citrus, jasmine, rose, linden blossom and neroli notes. It has a light powdery floral scent which is perfect for anytime of the year or day.


Pure Reviving Cleanser - a rich cleanser which removes all make up and daily grime leaving the skin feeling clean and nourished, Mon Ami Hand Cream - which leaves the hands deliciously soft and nurtured and Illume Lip Glaze which is scented with Julie-Anne perfume and Hyaluronic acid nourishes and plumps. The lips are left looking glossy, with a light tint and in great condition.

I've really been enjoying all the products I've tried - it really is a beautiful brand. Have you tried any products from Juno Skincare?

Friday, 4 August 2017

Zing Organics: Seductive Spritzaroma Room & Pillow Mist

As you'll know I'm a huge fan of the beautiful products Kirsty creates at Zing Organics. Her studio workshop is based in Tarbert, Loch Fyne. You can see my review of my last purchases HERE.

Spritzaroma comes in a variety of enticing scents. I chose Seductive (80ml - £19.50) which is a exquisite blend of Ylang Ylang and Patchouli in a Rose hydrosol base. It really is a beautiful scent and perfect for spritzing in the bedroom!

Blended with essential oils and hydrosol making a light mist which can be used to scent the air, your bed and towels or even to steam your shower for a few moments before entering your personal aroma spa!

There are 400 sprays in an 80ml can. As Kirsty says "that's a lot of skooshing!"

The other scents available: Energising (May Chang in a Geranium hydrosol), Opulent (Scottish Highland Pine and Cinnamon), Meditation (Cannabis Sativa L, Patchouli, Geranium & Lemongrass), The Spa (Cardamon, Patchouli & Lemongrass in a Geranium hydrosol) and Romantic (Lavender & Geranium in a Rose hydrosol).

The Spritzaroma's packaging is a reusable, recyclable and refillable aluminium spray bottle. Pick yours up HERE.

Do make sure and check out the fab Zing Lover's Subscription Club (which costs £29.50 a month). You can also pick it up as a one off at £45.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Shopping my Stash #90

Here's what I've been reaching for:

Inika Micellar Cleansing Rosewater 100ml which is beautiful! Deeply scented with rosewater this micellar water gently removes daily grime and make up and I use it as a first cleanse on make up days and on its own on non-make up days.  It is quite small in size so I only use it as a treat!

Ere Perez Rich Olive Oil Lipstick in Surprise (4.5g - £17)* which is a bright pink shade (and out of my comfort zone!) The lipstick is super moisturising and the shade perfect for summer.

I picked up Walden Natural Perfume Castles in the Air in the new 15ml size. It has citrus, tropical flowers and lavender notes making it perfect for summer and holidays. It's one of my favourites from the range.

From Sister & Co I've been trying out their fab Raw Coconut Drink for Hair which I got in my Jet Set Set from Supernatural Beauty. See my initial thoughts on the set HERE. This treatment is great for dry, damaged and colour treated hair. It deeply nourishes both the scalp and hair leaving it looking and feeling great.

The final item I've been reaching for is Micheline Arcier's deeply nourishing Beaute Aromatherapie Face Cream** which is best suited to dry and mature skin types. I've been using it at night for a deeply nourishing treatment (it also smells incredible). This 6g sample pot costs £18 - see here for more info. Also see my previous reviews HERE and HERE.

What have you been reaching for lately?

*sent to me as part of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program. My post contains one affilate link.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Alucia Organics: Certified Organic Deep Cleansing Balm 50g

I'm a huge fan of Only Naturals as they stock such a great selection of fab brands. A while back I tried Alucia Organics Certified Organic Rosehip Oil* - see my review HERE. I was excited to try their Certified Organic Deep Cleansing Balm (50g - £20)* which makes cleansing into a luxurious ritual.

The Cleansing Balm is made with a blend of Organic oils, Organic Shea Butter and fragranced with organic Lemongrass, Lavender and Rosemary essential oils.

The cleanser has a beautiful light texture which is easy to massage onto the skin. The scent is particularly lovely and I've really been enjoying using it. It quickly gets rid of make up and daily grime leaving the skin feeling and looking clean, radiant and nourished.

Organic Sweet Almond and Castor oils remove dirt and daily grime while Organic Shea Butter deeply nourishes and softens. Organic Chamomile and Calendula extracts soothe and care for the skin. 

To use: apply a small amount onto the skin and massage for up to two minutes. Remove with a warmed damp muslin cloth.

Have you tried this Cleansing Balm? What's your favourite product by Alucia Organics?

*complimentary - my post contains two affiliate links

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Travel Treats

Here are my top travel picks: 

From Maddi Alexander we have the clever Love Swimwear Naturally Beautiful Swimwear Wash* (£10) which has an uplifting citrus scent. It's perfect to clean and protect your swimwear from chlorine, salts and sunscreen and is in a travel friendly 100ml size.  I also love their Naturally Beautiful Travel Laundry Wash* (£10) which is scented with rose geranium and lavender essential oils. It will gently clean clothes and underwear leaving them fresh and delicately scented (a must-have for holidays!)

I'm also packing two travel sizes from bodhi & birch - their new Desert Rose Facial Oil (£12 for 5ml). See my review here and Botanical Dew Hand & Body Wash (£5.50 for 50ml) which can also be used as a hand wash. See my review here.

From Awake Organics a travel size of their fabulous Aura Clean Natural Deodorant* (£4.50 for 10g) is a must. It keeps you feeling fresh all day long! See my review HERE.

The tiny heart shaped travel soaps from Bloomtown are perfect for travel as well as being super sweet.

My final pick is a mini sample candle from Zing Organics with invigorating May Chang & Geranium (with every £30 spend Zing will send you a freebie). You can see the full range in the SHOP.

Are any of these in your travel bag?


Monday, 31 July 2017

Love Lula: The Ohm Collection - Deo Dorant Powder - Neroli

I was lucky to be selected as Love Lula's most helpful member on their Facebook Group a couple of weeks ago (the most helpful member of the week gets £50 to spend instore) which is really generous of Love Lula. I picked a lovely selection of items which you can see below:

As soon as the new The Ohm Collection arrived I knew I'd be keen to try one of the Deo Dorants (I chose Neroli at £21 for 120g) but the range starts at £11 (60g) - see HERE.

The sifter style top has three modes - full, larger sprinkle holes and smaller ones making it easy to pour the exact amount needed from the tub.

The range is Dutch and created by "a group of young pioneers who love to make products that work. Beautiful, effective products that benefit both people and the planet".

I've found the Deo Dorant to be easy to use, smells great and keeps me fresh all day long. The powder is wild crafted, all natural and Vegan and lasts up to 24 hours. The longer you use Ohm the less you need. The scent is quite light but pleasant, fruity, sweet and slightly floral.

To use: put a small amount of powder on your fingertips and apply to your armpits patting gently (do not rub).

Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate (food grade, aluminium-free), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Citrus aurantium**, Calendula officinalis powder**, Lepidium Meyenii Root Powder**, Amethyst Powder (Non Nano), Cedrus Atlantica Wood Oil**, Melaleuca Alternifolia Leaf Oil**. * wildcrafted: these plants have been grown wild in nature without human intervention and harvested with respect for mother nature. ​** organic certified: these plants have been cultivated by natural means on unpolluted land without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. Nor have they been fumigated, irradiated, or genetically altered.

I'm very impressed with the deodorant and I'll be replenishing this pot when it's finished. Do you have a favourite scent from the RANGE?

Sunday, 30 July 2017

July Books

Here's what I've been reading in July:

The Serial Killer's Daughter by Lesley Welsh* -  Suzanne's not seen her dad in 10 years when the woman who was living with him asks to meet up. She tells her that he recently died and that she wants her to have his possessions including what seems like his life story...and includes photographs of young women including one of her mother. While flicking through these Suzanne is shocked to the core to see her friend Sophie among them. Sophie died 10 years ago in a fire at the studio they shared.

Something tells Suzanne that she has to investigate her father's life more closely and what she finds out will have devastating consequences. A fast paced and twisty story - her father is not what he seems - he's a ladies man, a charmer, a bully and a smooth talker who thinks he's one step ahead..A creepy read which I couldn't put down.

Ice Lake by John A Lenahan** - I took part in the blog tour for Ice Lake. See my review HERE.

We've come to take you home by Susan Gandar*** - this is a cracking read. The two stories told are cleverly interwoven. Jessica's dad leaves for war and the family - her mum and brother struggle on until they receive a telegram stating that her father has been killed in action. Jess has to take on the role of breadwinner and goes into service as a maid of all work. Life is hard but she does have glimpses of joy and happiness.

Four generations later in the present day Sam Foster's father is admitted to hospital with life changing injuries. She struggles to come to terms with it. Her dreams become more intense and she quickly realises she is seeing things which happened in the past - flashbacks to the war, the suffering, devastation and pain.

It's a story of war, family, daily life, love and heartbreak so carefully narrated. Oh and that ending made me cry. Absolutely loved it (one of my favs this year).

Marching on Together by P J Whiteley - It's August 2014 and six Leeds United supporters set off for a break in Bruges. They are all football daft and the book is littered with banter and reminiscence of previous games in the past.

They are visiting Allan and Johnny's grandad's grave on the Western Front. I found the characters interesting with their own personalities and stories. Allan is the "supposedly" successful businessman, Johnny is just out of prison and wondering if he'll ever find love and a job.  Johnny's mates Craig and Terry are there as is tomboy Petra. The sixth is Yvonne, a middle aged lady whose marriage is breaking down. She's the one who can remember all the football stories from the past and we'll find out if she "can finally accept the result of the 1975 cup final and begin to move on with her life". With great characters and storylines I loved it!

Charlie's Promise by Annmarie Allan*** - The story is set at Morison's Haven, a small harbour at Prestongrange just before the start of WW2. Charlie finds a starving German boy called Josef hiding in the woods near his home. Terrified and unable to speak English Charlie and his friend Jean manage to establish that he's got family in the city of Edinburgh along the coast.  They travel with Josef to Edinburgh and after a few scrapes reunite him with his family. A great read which I thorough enjoyed and read in two sittings!

Here and Gone by Haylen Beck* - I found this story absolutely gripping. It's fast paced and captivating.

Audrey Kinney and her two children are fleeing her abusive ex and are driving through Arizona on the way to California. She's stopped by a Sheriff who insists her car is not fit to drive. What follows is a creepy search of both her and her car. He supposedly finds drugs on her and arrests her calling on his deputy to take her children to a safe place. Audrey feels her ex must be behind this ordeal.

What follows is unbelievable. No one believes Audrey when she tells them her children were taken. They all believe she murdered them and hid the bodies. A fast paced and relentless tale we are left hoping against hope that the truth will win through. Loved it.

Together by Julie Cohen* - WOW what a book. I simply loved it. Brilliant characters and such a clever, clever storyline. One of my favourite books of 2017.  The story starts in the current day and goes back in time. The main characters of Robbie and Emily are just incredible and I loved their story. 

The story starts in 2016 and goes backwards in time. Robbie and Emily have been together for years (and what a love story theirs is!) They have two sons and family around them when they tell them their dad and granddad has dementia. Robbie has always been the strong one so it comes as a blow to their son Adam.

As the story goes back in time we find out how they met and their lives before and after. Early on we are told of a secret (I was guessing up all sorts of things - all of them wrong!) and the story has a huge twist that I'm still thinking of long since finishing the book.

My final read this month is the brilliant The Night Stalker by Clare Donoghue***. It's the fourth in the DI Lockyer series. It's not published until 10th August so I'll share my thoughts round about then.

What have you been reading this month?

*copy from Netgalley
**copy from Publisher
***copy from the author

Friday, 28 July 2017

July: Lately I've been Loving

I picked up this beautiful candle by JoJo Co at Stockbridge Market which is absolutely gorgeous - expect a full review shortly. The scent is divine and I love the simple but pretty packaging.

I've been really impressed with this reed diffuser* by The Handmade Soap Company which is available at Love Lula as it's so long lasting and I love the scent. See my review HERE.

Sunflowers down the allotment always cheer me up and make me smile.

My paperback TBR pile (which is going down slowly) I love having loads of choice of what to read next (I've also got 300 books on the kindle!)

Discovering gorgeous Bliss Botanicals thanks for enabling Ali. The products are all beautiful. See my review HERE. The Vanilla & Rose melts are exquisite.

Hake Gravalax - Jersey Royals - Lime - Balsamic

Seabass - Salmon - Cod - Sour Dough - Black Garlic - Bisque

Strawberry Tart - Woodruff - Elderflower - Custard

We had lunch at Restaurant Mark Greenaway which was delicious - it's been a while! We really enjoyed it and can't wait to go back! We went for the Market Menu 3 courses for £29.50.

We also ate at teeny tiny El Cartel Mexicana which was amazing - and I can't wait to go back! The frozen margaritas are incredible! The one above was Apricot & Blood Orange. Mmmm..

Guacamole - Plantain chips

Tacos - Baja Cod - Battered Cod - Chipotle Crema - Pomegranate Salad

Tacos - Duck Carnitas - Chipotle Pecan Salsa - Crema - Pico de Gallo - pumpkin seeds

What have you been loving this month?

*sent to me as part of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program