Wednesday, November 25

'Tempest' & 'Fist of the Furor' by R.K Ryles
In the first book from the series 'Scribes of Medesia' I was completely hooked. By the time it finished I was eager to know what happened next. As quickly as I could I jumped straight back into the amazing world to follow Stone and her adventure. You can jump to the review of the first book 'Mark of the Mage' by R.K Ryles by clicking here. 

'Tempest' followed straight on from the last novel. Immediately you were immersed inside the beautifully detailed world as Drastona continues her fight to protect her homeland Merdeisia. Heartache and death follow her as she travels across the vast land known as Ardus. Tragedy strikes and Stone is left feeling more broken than before.

War I looming ever closer and in 'Fist of the Furor' that day is finally here. With a world of magic, nature, dragons and love at her side Stone is forced into fulfilling the role of becoming the Phoenix. With all hopes and spirits pinned on her plus armed her new friend Prince Cadeyrn of Sadeemia she takes off to reclaim the land that her people called home.

These books are magical, filled with such vivid images that help you see the world clearer through Stones eyes. Every page brings new light to the story with no pages endlessly babbling as if to fill it out. Every word seems so perfectly placed. My only issue is that the final big battle seemed a bit quick. I wanted to really enjoy the climax of the novel but it seemed so short compared to the three book lead up.
However with that said it didn't ruin the whole reading experience and I really recommend these novels.

'Tempst' is currently £1.95 for the kindle.
'Fist of the Furor' is currently £1.90 also for the kindle.
 These are also available in paper back.  

What are you currently reading? Let me know down below.
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Friday, November 20

5 useful Flexi Basket Tips

These are the perfect ideas that makes life so much easier when you are constantly on the go and hate having things unorganised. These small little baskets make the world of difference as going around organising my home. So I want to share my top 5 uses for these baskets. 

Under the Sink
My favourite use of them has to be for under the sink where usually everything is just thrown. No longer do I have to now hunt for a bottle which is probably hiding at the back. Instead it is all room sorted so I can grab the stuff I need in no time at all - a handy thing for a messy 17month old.

Food Organiser
Dont just stop at clearing up under the sink, organise your food cupboards too. I'm quite short and often cant see into the back of the cupboards. But having tins organised by colour means I can grab and pull down what and I need straight away. You could even do this in your fridge.

Organise the 'man drawer'
There's always one drawer in the kitchen that random things get thrown into. Battery, spare keys, old birthday cards, screws, light bulbs to name a few in mine. These useful things that I need on hand encase of a emergency. Imagine being stuck on a children's channel once they have gone to bed as the remote has died? Not in my house. Everything has its place and easy to reach for. No more smashed bulbs or hunting for the battery who find there way to the bottom. 

Holding Bath Toys
Little ones get spoiled with so many toys its hard to keep track of them. Buying specially made bath nets are £10 and up so I came up with the idea to put her bath toys are into a flexi basket. I have punched little holes into the bottom of which makes draining the water out a doddle. This also works perfectly for bathroom products too.

Children Clean Up Kit
The great thing about flexi baskets is that they are really easy to be held in one hand. Meaning you can use the other to wrestle your little monkeys into submission. I keep my daughters easy clean up items inside one. Life could not get any simpler - and neater.

What would you do with yours? Let me know down below and make sure to subscribe so you dont miss any time saving tips.

Much Love,
Umber x
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Wednesday, November 18

'Mark of the Mage' by R.K Ryals

Today i'm bringing you  a review of  'Mark of the Mage' by R.K Ryals. This is the first book in the Scribes of Merdesia series with there being four in total. First off I have to say it is very beautifully written. Each word paints a very vivid picture of the wonderful world of Miss Drastona (Stone) Consta-Mayria. 

Born illegitimately into this world she seeks solitude in a world of books and parchment. Very quickly we find out that the world of Medeisia is changing around. It has other plans for Stone with marriage seen as the only option to save her from a life of unknown pearl. But her step-mother has other ideas by announcing the use of magic, which is forbidden by rule of the King, resulting the death of Stone's very much loved nurse maid. From that moment on Stone's life is forever changed. Branded with a tattoo for the forbidden practise of scriber, her tattoo echoes her life with her inkwell that was her sanctuary now cracked. 

Every word written flows so freely through the book leading you to very much be taken in by the writing. The scenery is described as the story goes, without the stopping and starting effect that many books have.
 Along the way you meet characters who you love and hate with the flip of a coin as you feel Drastonas pain and suffering. With Magic, dragons, tree whispers and a wolf, this book is sure to take you in to the descriptive heart tugging world.

 If you haven't seen the previous wednesday book reviews be sure to click here.

Much Love,
Umber x

Love reading? Check out more book reviews here. 

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Monday, November 16

Estee Lauder Gel Eyeliner

I have two eyeliners that I usually reach for. My Primark pen liner and this Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Gel Eyeliner. In my quest to find an eyeliner that works well for me iv came across this one.

I was a huge fan of the double wear foundation when I was younger, and though the lightest colour was a little dark, it covered my imperfections well. So hoping for the best I had picked up this eyeliner and im glad to say its not done me wrong.

I have the colour in black, and it comes across as black too. Sometimes you get those eyeliners that say they are one colour but they lack the pigmentation and look grey, brown or blue. This however is black. Its richly coloured and very creamy to use.
I only need to load up the bush once and can manage a clean looking eye flick. The creaminess really helps with this as everything is so fluid and no tugging is required.

Once applied it sets and really does last all day. There is no clumping, flaking or creasing just that original black line you drew. With it no worse for wear than when you put it on. What surprises me is though it lasts perfectly all day its very easy to be removed with a bit of micellar water. Just leave it on the line for a few seconds, swipe and off it goes.

The only con I find for this is it does seem to wear off every so slightly on the inner corner of my eye. I tend to rub my inner eyes as they get irritated easily. However tears have not removed this eyeliner as of yet.
When I originally bought it was I really unsure about the price point, being far more than what I had planed on paying. The product retails for around £19 which I now don't think is to extortionate considering how product lasts a very long time. As you can see mine is very well loved. I would pay that again for this gel eyeliner. 

TIP: store your gel eyeliners upside down, it will keep them usable for longer.

What is your favourite eyeliner? Let me know down in the comments.  

You can see examples of the eyeliner in use on my 'Makeup Monday' and 'FOTD  Round Up Week 2' blog posts.

Much Love, 
Umber  x

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Sunday, November 15

Top Twinnings Green tea

When I started on my journey for loosing a bit of my jiggle the first things that came up on google was green tea. There is so much on google about its benefits from physical to mental health. It seems like such an easy option to loose weight right? Drink some tea and sit back and watch it drop off.

I didn't like tea, I still don't like a cup of earl grey, but over time my palette has became used to the taste of the stuff. I gulped back the first few cups believing that it was a miracle cure but what I actually found out was that it wasn't the green tea making such a huge change. It was actually water consumption. 
Once I realised that I started to enjoy my green tea. It no longer seemed like a chore to drink it and I came across some amazing flavours. I used to be terrible for drinking, I didn't drink often and when I did it was fizzy. Now I drink so much more than I did and enjoy my morning tea to waken my day. My favourite flavours have to be from Twinings. They make amazing tastes that spice up your drinking time. A flavour for every mood and every taste bud.

The first green tea I tried was the peach and cherry blossom. I had such cravings for peach flavoured things when I was pregnant and thought why not give this a shot, after all I had quite library of peach to compare to. I was pleasantly surprised that you could really taste the flavours through it. From there my love of green tea grew to trying all the other flavours.    
I just adore the caramelised apple one. Its perfect for hitting that sweet craving spot and smells just divine. Salter Caramel also just smells heavenly. They are overly powerful flavours but I do think the scent really helps. Nobody wants to drink something that smells awful right? The fruit ones are fantastic too, really scentful and just as delicious to drink.

My favourite of all has to be the pomegranate green tea. Its sweet, has an amazing scent that really makes me feel all happy. When im stressed I reach for a cup of this and sit with a good book and relax.  

I buy my green tea's from tesco but they are available from Twiningsown website and most supermarkets.

There is also a selection pack available on amazon so you can try all the amazing flavours. 

What's you favourite hot drink? Why don't you let me know down below.

Much Love,
Umber x   

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Friday, November 13

Yankee Candle Haul

I love a good candle, especially one that smells strong and lasts a long time. So far in my search the closest I have came to happiness is with Yankee candles. So seeing there Christmas range out in asda I just has to pick up a few. At £1 each you really cant go wrong.

Inone of my posts i had shown what I like to use to burn my candles, and I also use it for burning these wax votive candles. I take a butter knife to scratch out the metal disk at the bottom of the candle and then pull out the wick. I think this helps them last much longer and also means you can pop the melted disks under radiators to fragrance the house on chilli days - just remember to put them on a plate.
So the fragrances I got this time were three of the Christmas scents and also a three pack of basic home scents. I'm useless for actually describing scents but when I goggled the festive ones for an 'official' scent description I found it hard to find them. Even to find them for sale was a little difficult as the prices were much more expensive than what I paid.
The festive ones 'Christmas Baking' I can smell a hint of cinnamon as for the rest merry berry is fruity with a cherry note and savour the season I would say is also a baking smell but not as spicy. I told you I wasn't very good, so next time your in any shop that sells them please do give them a sniff, they really are divine. 

As for the other three candles they are really easy to describe as they are part of the core collection and really smell like how you expect with there names: Raspberry Sunday, Sweet Vanilla and Apple Crumble.

There is just so much selection from this brand it really is amazing. Amazon does so many diffrent scents all year round its hard to make sure my pennys stay in my pocket.

How do you like to scent your home? Or do you have a favourite candle brand?

Much Love,
Umber x

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Wednesday, November 11

User ability of a Fat Chick

I'm fat. I'm big boned, plus size, curvy, overweight and whole range of similar words that basic means I'm fat. Now to me fat is not a bad word, its simply a description that defines what my body is. I like to eat a bit to much chocolate, and I like to exercise. I'm relatively healthy for those who are concerned about my weight, I just like to indulge myself a little more often than I should and that's OK. 

I get offered work as a plus size model and I love to take a selfie. I'm not shy about how I look, why would I be? The world has so much different standards of beauty and hopefully I appeal to some. I want to take who I am further and help promote a body positivity that is not defined by your weight but rather how you feel inside. I post semi-nude images baring my flesh and all the jiggles I posses, because a body is not to be shamed.
So with that out the way today I'm writing about the user ability to not see past a fat chick in a picture.

I have a website for my modelling, I'm no designer so after finding out about a website called Peek User testing I jumped on the chance to see how my website looked to an outsider. 'Get a peek into the mind of your users.' it claims. To be honest I wish I didn't.
Its sad that in this day and age, after all the press and all the supposed body positive movements there is still those who put down somebody based on there weight.
It claims on its video that is is a service for ”finding and fixing the problems faced by your website visitors”. Well obviously me being fats a huge problem on a plus size website! 

Now I wont completely slate the website. I did find it OK on my blog, neither pointing out anything negative or positive about it. In fact the first time I used on on my modelling website I had a very helpful man state things in a 7 minute long video. This did actually help me improve the website, helping me see things that an outsider would see. Spurred on by his helpfulness I applied twice more to see what people thought about it. 
Greeted by a 1minute 32 video for the second attempt, which did nothing to test the user ability of the site but to sexulise my clothing, point out my breast side and also note that it was a site for overweight models. This review irked me as did not do anything but judge me based the images on the first page. 
It was the first video however which really took it further. I was also put down based on my appearance.

It makes me feel like this is some sort of adult site or porn site”
though one should always try to be healthy”

I have big boobs, I do pin-up, but in what way does this have ANYTHING to do with the user ability of the site. This is straight out judging based on my appearance.
My appearance may not be to everybody's taste, but when asked for an impartial view on it I'm named as an adult model. I have nothing against adult modelling, iv done some more risky shoots in my time, but these images have nothing to do with the ability to use a site. The fact my breasts automatically make something over sexulised is alarming. Without learning about me, who I fight to anti-discrimination with, what I believe. I'm simply named as a porn model. My weight again a judging factor on my website. 

I wonder if my images were all removed if I would still get the same remarks about user ability? I highly doubt it.

Much love,

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Blood and Milk: The Fall of Grace by Melodie Moon

I just could not wait to get stuck into the next instalment by Melodie Moon, and boy was I not disappointed. Gripping to the very end I was hooked into knowing the fate of Maya and her vegetarian vampire boyfriend Adrian.
Avalible on Amazon
Armed with a blood red fruit tea I dove straight in, only looking up to check on the time and having to return to mother dutys with little one waking from her nap. She always seem to know when the best bits are. Spending the rest of my day dreaming on the possible outcome, I was relived when it was sleepy time so I could take myself off into the vampiric land and loose myself in somebody else's life. 

I was well in truly captivated by this novel. Questions from the last book were answered with questions of there own in a never ending path of darkness and light.
This all sounds quite vague, but I would hate to give away any spoilers. If you are yet to read the book, which by the way if you coudnt tell, you definitely should. You can find the first book's review clicking here.

Maya's world flips upside down with the knowledge that self-righteous Nicholas now knows of her relationship with Adrian. Fearing for there lives things take a deeper turn with sorrow hitting all members of there group. In this instalment we find out some of the reasons for the manic actions of the fellow murderous vampires. Becky is a sweet and charming girl lost to the world of abuse and abandonment leading to her Fall from Grace which is hard hitting. Ill admit I shed a tear learning and loving her character.
The perspective of the book really makes you feel included in the story. I could feel myself getting upset when Maya did, knowing her sufferings and longing for her to have her every wish granted.
My biggest annoyance of the book however is how it stopped so suddenly and left without answers to the jaw dropping ending. I hope that there will be a conclusion to these fantastic books. I wait eagerly for the next.

Much Love,


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Tuesday, November 10

Makeup Revolution Salvation Lip Collection

For the last few weeks iv been receiving comments about my lip colour. But don't worry fokes today's the day when I finally review the Makeup Revolution Salvation Lip Collection. 
Iv been wearing the lip products for a while, trying to get a good grip on there staying power and also how they feel. There's nothing worse than an amazing colour that the only redeeming factor of it is its shade. You have a lip product to last and im happy to say one of the products in this set really does have an amazing staying power.

The set is split up into 3 different types of product: Intense, Ultra Velour and Velvet. Over all the colours are really nice on my skin tone, even though I was a bit wary of three of the colours. The one thing that really irritated me about the set is that once the outer packaging is removed unless you remember the finish, there is no labelling on them. There is no colour names, there Is no finish, it is simply 6 identical tubes with different colours inside.  On the swatches on the right side is where i left them on my arm for 8 hours.
The best of all the products were the Ultra Valour glosses. They had fantastic saying power, and even with eating, drinking and smooching the colour just did not budge. I was a little worried at first as there was still a slightly sticky feel left, but after putting it through its paces they really did surprise me. I would love to purchase more of these lippys and there has been a few added to my wish list from Santa.
Next up we have the Intense. Incredible rich pigment and an average staying power. They are sticky on the lips and never seem to really dry. But I do have to say for the intensity of the colour I think it was worth putting up with side effects. Would I buy again? Probably not, if I could get a similar shade in the 'Intense' glosses I would rather pick them up.

The Velvet lip glosses had a texture I have never felt in a gloss before. They were soft on the lips almost like silicone but did dry a little. Id love to get my hands on some darker shades of these to give them a go. As for staying power they were nether here nor there. I'm on the fence if I like these glosses are not. However I do think that's down to the colours given and not the texture.

Will you be getting your hands on these products this Christmas? Let me know down below and also let me know what your favourite lip product is. 

Much Love,
Umber xx

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Monday, November 9

FOTD Round up week 2

Today I bring you another weekly round up of my #fotd posts and what I was wearing in each instagram picture. This week has been predominantly make-up free as iv been feeling a bit under the weather, only putting it on when iv been planning to go somewhere then removing it as soon as iv been home. 

Skin: Manic Panic Dreamtone in Virgin, Mac Studio Fix Fluid Nw10, Collection Lasting Perfection in Fair, Collection Pressed Powder in 18 Ivory.
Cheeks: Revolution Bronzer, Blush and Highlight trio.
Eyes: Estee Lauder Double Wear Gel Liner in Black, Great Lash Waterproof Version by Maybelline, Colour Tattoo in Pink Gold.
Lips: Super stay 10H Tint Gloss in Endless Ruby.

Skin: Manic Panic Dreamtone in Virgin, Mac Studio Fix Fluid Nw10, Collection Pressed Powder in 18 Ivory.
Cheeks: Revolution Bronzer, Blush and Highlight trio.
Eyes: Estee Lauder Double Wear Gel Liner in Black, Revolution Amazing Volume Mascara, Make-up Academy  Pro-base eye primer, Colour Tattoo in Pink Gold, Revolution 2016 Eyeshadow Collection

Skin: Manic Panic Dreamtone in Virgin, Mac Studio Fix Fluid Nw10, Collection Lasting Perfection in Fair, Collection Pressed Powder in 18 Ivory.
Cheeks: Jemma Kidd mannequin Skin highlight, E.L.F blushing rose blusher, MUA Mosaic Bronzer sun kissed glow shade 2.
Eyes: Revolution Amazing Volume Mascara, Make-up Academy  Pro-base eye primer, Revolution 2016 Eyeshadow Collection 

Skin: Revolution Ultra Face Base BB cream foundation
Cheeks: Revolution Bronzer, Blush and Highlight trio.
Eyes: Revolution Amazing Volume Mascara, Make-up Academy  Pro-base eye primer, Revolution 2016 Eyeshadow Collection, Estee Lauder Double Wear Gel Liner in Black

What have you been wearing this week?

Much love,
Umber x

PS have you seen last weeks? Makeup Monday week 1

Saturday, November 7

Quick Fix Facials: Purifying Charcoal Mask - Review

I love a good face mask. There's nothing more relaxing than rubbing your face in goo then sitting waiting for it to harden. OK so maybe I don't enjoy them to much simply because I'm impatient, but I can see a huge difference that they make, so for the blog I decided to give myself a pamper. 
My skins been breaking out since I stared using Mac studio fix fluid, these delightful little spots popping up just before im due to go out in public for a Charity day fund raiser. Especially when I'm there due to being labelled a beauty queen at a pageant a few months back. 

So rushing to boots I came across this little product at half price. Iv been reading a lot about charcoal recently, so I decided to give this ago. Iv used it about 4 times now and there is still plenty left in the squeesy tube, so I can see this lasting far longer than the 10 facial claim. 
Who ever came up with putting face masks in tubes is a genius. I always use that little rip open packets and feel like I waste half the product. But this is just perfect and none of my product is wasted or goes dry in the tube.

As for how it worked I have to say I'm really impressed.  Each time I use it my skin feel smooth and calmer. It also doesn't overly tighten when it dry s on the skin which I really don't like about some clay masks. It also has a lovely smell of cinnamon which I realise can be an issue if you have skin sensitivity so I do recommend doing a test patch first. I notice it tingles slightly on my skin. Next day I do think my skin looks a little bit better, it is calmer and more uniform in colour. As for the break outs they are leaving me quickly and you cant tell where some of the spots have been now. 

Would I repurchase this? I think I would but I would love to try more of there range out first. 
At £2.49 a tube at the moment is is defiantly the time to experiment before they go back up to £5 a tube - which I would pay anyway because the stuff does go a long way. 

What is your favourite skin mask? Or have you tried any more of this range? Id love to know so leave em a comment down below.

Much Love,
Umber x

Thursday, November 5

Christmas Cat Haul

Our furry friends need love this time of year, so armed with £20 of gift vouchers I headed to pets at home to pick up some festive treats to brighten up there Christmas day. Children have them, Adults have them, so why not our loveable companions? 

I picked up a perfect little calendar to share between my two cats. I did debate getting two but I'm sure they care share, after all Cerberus isn't a big treat eater unless its fresh fish from the supermarket fish counter - there both a bit spoiled. I didnt want to go over the top with treats for them as little piggy Ortherus trys to eat left over pizza, and Cerbie just isn't a food fan.
 With 24 catnip filled yummys I'm sure that they will enjoy being 'high' on the festivities. This was £2 from Pets at home. 

Thinking onto prezzie for the little darlings I decided to try out the Kong Re-fillable Catnip mouse. Cerberus is not one for toys, he prefers to steal the rubber ducks out the bat toy box and sit in the corner with them. However I do know that he likes feathers as he previously destroyed a few toys that had them for tails. So if he doesn't take to it then this gift can go to Ortherus, because he adores teddy's.  I really like the idea of having the catnip in the middle, I do like to watch my cat toys every so often -perks of toddler owning- so catnip in some of the other toys is now useless. But knowing I can pop some more into the toys  a real plus for me.

In the same section I came across this little Rattle Ball Teaser Cat toy for £2.50. I have a love hate relationship with these sorts of toys. Having previously bought one which had three metallic fish, my views on these toys are quite low. I was forever untangling the fish so the cats could play, so it landed up in the bin. But with Ortherus still semi-kitten I thought I would give it another go. He loves anything that moves, and will happily chase a bit of string my daughter drags on the floor, so I'm looking forward to seeing his reaction to this toy. With the bright feathers at the bottom I have a feeling Mr Cerberus will also be joining in on the play time.

With £8.50 down and £11.50 to go I was starting to struggle with ideas. The flats already littered with cat toys which my little girl prefers, and the cats go for her toys. So I wasn't sure what to get. After all what does a cat really need? The answer: Catnip bubbles.
Yes you read that right, catnip bubbles. I just could not wait to get home and try it out on them. I'm sure they didn't mind an early Xmas prezzie.
I was a little disappointed at the lack of bubbles it made if I'm honest. The solution was watery but when it did work they both were popping them with there nose and little Ortherus swiping at them in the air. They seemed thrilled by the bubbles, which made it a good product, even if it was a bit disappointing for humans. It wasn't overly expensive at £2.99 so at the end of the day not a huge loss, and defiantly more fun than the usual sprinkling of leaves that then need hovered. They landed on the floor waiting to be popped by the cats and didn't leave any visible residue. The product on there website can be found here.

Whilst there my heart did melt on a small adorable white Russian hamster who was up for adoption under the name of 'Barry White', had I not had my toddler with me I wouldn't have thought twice about taking him home with me. I'm not very good when it comes to animals needing adopted. If you read my last pet post about my cats you will know both Cerberus and Ortherus are adopted too. I hate seeing animals in there waiting for the second chance at a forever home. It wouldn't have been fair on him to take him home and be swiped at by the cats though. The fish are a target as it is, with Ortherus already have made 2 attempts and one successful of swimming with them. At least out of that situation the fish did get a reward of a much larger tank with a solid wooden lid. 

So turning my back to the ideas of getting more for the cats, who will probably have just as much fun chasing around the wrapping paper, I thought I would spend the  remaining money on my fish. I landed up walking away with three white granite caves which where on a 3 for 2 deal at £6 each. My weather loaches are enjoying them and using small stones I previously had, they have a lovely big area in there tank to hide away.

What will you be getting your pets for Christmas? or have you already bought it?
Let me know down below.

Much Love,
Umber x


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