H O M E .      A B O U T .      C O N T A C T .      T U M B L R .      T H E   B O O K   J O U R N A L .      sailorjennie [at] gmail [dot] com

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Glossybox: June 2014 Edition.

There was no little product card inside my Glossybox* this month so I'm not entirely sure what the theme is, but I think this is probably the best box they've put together this year so far. I'm not wowed like I was with Birchbox this month, but to be fair I think that box would be pretty difficult to top.

Eyeshadow brushes always come in handy and although I really dislike the design on the handle of this one by Teeez, it's certainly one that I'll always be able to find. A base and top coat is something that always comes in handy as well. I'm trying to overcome my nail biting habit so I've slapped some glitter polish over my sad looking nails in the hope it'll help. I've put some of the Nail Girls top coat over the top of the glitter and so far so good. Not a particularly exciting product, but one that will see a lot of use I'm sure. 

Rituals is a brand that I love to see in beauty boxes because they're so reliable. Their products always smell beautiful and they really work. Mini sprays are perfect for keeping in handbags during the warmer months and that's what I'll be doing with this. It's actually nice to try an antiperspirant that's not my usual Dove or Sure and this Qi Gong scent is gorgeous.

A couple of days ago I cleared out my mascara drawer so the L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes couldn't have arrived at a more perfect time. I've never tried it before, in fact it's been a really long time since I tried a L'Oreal mascara in general. Maybe I've never tried one? I'm not sure. I'm not particularly fussy when it comes to mascaras, so as long as it doesn't sting my eyes or leave me looking like a panda I'm sure we'll get on okay.

Finally is the So Susan Concealer Quad. I believe every box will contain either this or the Universal Blush. So Susan sent me a few products from their range a couple of weeks ago and the concealer quad was one of them. Unfortunately I find all of the colours to be a little dry and they don't blend well at all on my skin. I love the idea of it, but it's not one that works for me & my skin type. If you're subscribed and you get the blush though, I think you might like that. It's a lovely colour that's really flattering and I've been reaching for it almost daily.

What do you think of this month's box? 
Are you subscribed? 

- Jennie xo 

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

That day last week when I accidentally bought some books...

It was the first day of a really bad cold. You know the one where it feels like there's an elephant sat on your head, you can't stop sneezing and you go through what seems like the entirety of the worlds tissue supplies in half an hour? That one.

I was watching some of my favourite booktubers whilst forcing down a mug of beechams (not a fan of the taste, but oh boy does that stuff work!!) and a couple of them mentioned The Book People because they'd been sent some books to review (sidenote: a brilliant example of how to reach out to youtubers. PR done well). It had been a long time since I'd had a good ol' peruse of the website so I thought I'd have a quick peep because they usually have some pretty good deals. I wasn't planning on buying anything though. But half an hour and a found-on-the-internet discount code later there were nine books heading my way in return for twenty five pounds. Well, Paypal pounds. And we all know Paypal money isn't real money. So they were technically free. Almost. That's what I'm telling myself.

More Than This by Patrick Ness | £4.99
This was the book that sparked off the whole order. It's been on my radar for a little while, sitting in my to-read list on Goodreads and on my Amazon wishlist. I have looked at it in Waterstones a few times, the cut out detail on the front cover is amazing and a real example of how being a little bit different with cover design can really pay off because it was attracting a lot of attention. But I didn't really want to pay full price for it because I've had a bit of an expensive book buying few months after a pretty extensive University set book list hitting my inbox. That's a really weak excuse, but sometimes I just want a bargain. And £4.99 for a hardback is an excellent bargain. Into the basket it went. And then I obviously had to pick some more books to hit the £25 free shipping thing. Right? Right!
"A boy drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments. He dies. Then he wakes, naked, bruised and thirsty, but alive. How can this be? And what is this strange, deserted place? As he struggles to understand what is happening, the boy dares to hope. Might this not be the end? Might there be more to this life, or perhaps this afterlife?" 
You know when you get that feeling that a book is going to be pretty special, even before you've started reading? This is one of those for me. I've heard a lot of good things from a lot of people who tend to enjoy the same books as I do. I might have to start this one first.
Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness | £6.99
The Book People do collections really well, and by really well I mean really cheap. Under £7 for a whole trilogy? Yes please! It's been a long time since I've read a series and I also don't read a lot of fantasy/dystopia but I'm pretty keen to broaden my reading horizons. 
"Todd Hewitt is the last boy in Prentisstown. But Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in a constant, overwhelming, never-ending Noise. There is no privacy. There are no secrets. Or are there? Just one month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd unexpectedly stumbles upon a spot of complete silence. Which is impossible. Prentisstown has been lying to him. And now he's going to have to run..."
Yes! Sounds pretty exciting to me! Fun fact, anyone else being able to hear my thoughts is one of my irrational fears. Not because I have bad thoughts, but because they're horrendously embarrassing. Sometimes these ridiculous thoughts somehow find themselves into everyday conversation, which confirms how ridiculous they are. For example, the World Cup is currently on TV ALL THE TIME (ew) and instead of trying to enjoy watching it (never going to happen) I sit and imagine how much more entertaining it would be if all the players had to wear fancy dress. Notably Big Bird from Sesame Street. I still think it would make it more entertaining. Apparently it's not going to catch on though... Anyway, back to books!

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira | £5.59
This was most expensive single book I bought but still incredibly good value. This has been getting a lot of hype recently and for that reason I would usually avoid it for a little while, but there's something about it that has caught my interest. It's probably Ava's connection with Stephen Chbosky to be honest, because Perks will always have a special place in my heart forever and ever.
"Sometimes the best letters go unanswered. It begins as an assignment for English class: write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain - he died young, and so did Laurel's sister May - so maybe he'll understand what Laurel is going through. Soon Laurel is writing letters to lots of dead people - Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, River Phoenix, Amelia Earhart, Amy Winehouse... It's like she can't stop. She writes about her new high school, her new friends, her first love - and her shattered life. But the ghosts of Laurel's past can't be contained between the lines of a page forever. She must face up to them - before they consume her."
I think it has the potential to be a real love/hate kind of book. I'm not convinced that the blurb on the back is particularly attention grabbing, but I'm hoping that I'll like it. Young Adult is an interesting genre, there's so much potential within it and there are so many good YA books. But I also think it's quite easy to get wrong and I'm keeping my fingers tightly crossed this one isn't disappointing.

The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence | £3
Admittedly I clicked on this initially because it was a truly bargainous price for a hardback but the blurb soon caught my attention...
"Alex Woods knows that he hasn't had the most conventional start in life. He knows that growing up with a clairvoyant single mother won't endear him to the local bullies. He also knows that even the most improbable events can happen - he's got the scars to prove it. What he doesn't know yet is that when he meets ill-tempered, reclusive widower Mr Peterson, he'll make an unlikely friend. Someone who tells him that you only get one shot at life. That you have to make the best possible choices. So when, aged seventeen, Alex is stopped at Dover customs with 113 grams of marijuana, an urn full of ashes on the passenger seat, and an entire nation in uproar, he's fairly sure he's done the right thing."
Goodness knows I'm a sucker for a good coming of age novel, especially one that includes an unlikely friendship and an unexpected hero. Promising to potentially strike me as one of the funniest and most heartbreaking novels I've ever read, it's safe to say I'm pretty excited about this one. Please be good!  

Fortunately The Milk by Neil Gaiman & Illustrated by Chris Riddell | £2.99
What's a big book order without a little bit of Gaiman? Not a very successful one is the answer to that. Neil Gaiman gets a lot of praise from a lot of people. I have Stardust on my shelf, which I haven't read yet (note to self: no more book buying until you've read everything you already have!) and when I saw this I had to have it.
"It begins and ends with milk. Without milk, there can be no breakfast. Without breakfast, the day cannot start. The delicious Toastios are dry and the children are hungry. But today, the fridge is milkless. From the moment Dad pops out to buy some and gets abducted by aliens, swashbuckled by pirates, nearly sacrificed to a volcano god and rescued by a time-travelling dinosaur in a hot-air balloon, it's clear that breakfast is going to be delayed by some quite unusual events. Fortunately, the milk will arrive at some point in the future. Or the past. Won't it?"
The shiny cover is perfect, the blurb is hilarious and intriguing at the same time and the illustrations and typography throughout look incredibly well done. Maybe I'll read this one first... I know I'm going to love it already!

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki | £4.99
This was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2013 when The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton won. The Luminaries is sitting on my shelf, waiting for a week when I can devote some serious time to reading it because it's pretty long and I have a feeling it's one that will demand a fair amount of concentration. A Tale for the Time Being looks like it'll be a little easier to get through and I'm interested to see what makes a Man Booker Prize winner different from others that were shortlisted, if that makes sense?
"Within the pages of this book lies the diary of a young girl called Nao. Riding the waves of a tsunami, it is making its way across the ocean. It will change the life of the person who finds it. It might just change yours, too."
I hadn't seen this particular edition before now, but I think it's beautiful. And it's a hardback without a dust jacket, which I always adore! A lot of reviews have described this as a triumph, being moving and profound. I think I'll really love this, and it's one I'm looking forward to a lot.
The Slightly Annoying Elephant by David Walliams & Illustrated by Tony Ross | Free gift but usually £4.99
When I was checking out there was the option to choose a free book from a list of around 7 or so. I think they were all children's books (I have a terrible memory) and because I kind of collect children's books after my children's lit Uni module I was all over that list! I settled on this one because David Walliams has received all kinds of praise for his books and I was curious.  
"What's big, blue, bossy, and turns up uninvited? A slightly annoying elephant, of course!"
I flipped through this as soon as I opened the box and was giggling away instantly. This is a really fun addition to my children's book collection and I can imagine it's a lot of fun to read with a small person!

***

So those were my purchases. Needless to say I'm excited about them all and I now just want to lock myself away in a room and read them all right now. I think it's going to be nice to read some of these in between some of the twentieth century classic novels I'm reading for University. Don't get me wrong, I'm loving those (I think I've just discovered a new favourite author in Katherine Mansfield), but I also like to have a variety of things to choose from. Sometimes a bit of contemporary is necessary after a tough read! 

Have you read any of these? 
Which do you think I should read first? 

- Jennie xo 

*This post contains affiliate links - if you click through and purchase something from The Book People I will receive a tiny percentage. 

Monday, 16 June 2014

June 2014 Love Me Beauty Box

Love Me Beauty Box* (£10 + p&p)

My first cold of the year has well and truly arrived. The last week has involved lots of sleeping, coughing and sneezing so it was nice to get to open this month's Love Me Beauty Box*. As always there were three different 'menus' to choose from and as always I had completely forgotten what was in the option I chose!

I used the Montagne Jeunesse mask on the night I opened the box and it was lovely. I don't usually like fabric masks because they tend to slip off my face so I have to make sure I have time to lie down or soak in the bath while I have it on, which I don't always have. Since I had a cold and didn't really want to do much else I ran a hot bath and it was pretty much instant relaxation. I'm thinking I'll have to make time for fabric masks more often!

I haven't opened the Beauty UK eyeshadow palette or the Model Co lipgloss yet but they both look promising. The colours in the eyeshadow palette are really neutral and the greys in particular look pretty. I've tried a few Model Co lipglosses before and although they're fairly sticky, they smell like candy floss which is always a bonus!

The Urban Veda moisturiser probably isn't something I'll use because I'm not a fan of mattifying products but I'm sure I won't have a problem finding someone who will love to give it a try. Finally the NYX nail polish in the shade 'winter' is such a beautiful light pink colour with a fair amount of sparkle. I think it's one that will look pretty on its own or over the top of another colour.

Love Me Beauty does variety really well. This probably isn't my favourite box from them, but the mask came at just the right time and I'm looking forward to wearing the lipgloss when I won't contaminate it with cold germs!

What do you think of this month's box? 

- Jennie xo

Monday, 9 June 2014

Recent Lifestyle Loves.

It's taking longer than I thought to fall back into posting regularly. It's almost like I've forgotten how to write, how to construct blog posts, how to make time for something I love to do. I have some down-time coming up, a few weeks where I don't have to think about anything and I'll be filling my days with books and hopefully some sunshine! Easing myself back into blogging with a few things that have inspired me or made me smile sounded good to me so here we go...

The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan
+ Marina Keegan's The Opposite of Loneliness went viral a couple of years ago when it was posted on Yale Daily News a few days after the car crash that claimed her life. Prior to reading those thousand words, it had been a long time since I had felt so connected to someone I had never met. I have the page bookmarked and I've lost count of the number of times I've clicked over to read again. When I heard some more of her work was going to be published I knew it would be a wonderful addition to my bookshelf. I wasn't disappointed. I love your work, Marina. And not just because you're not here anymore. But because you're good, really good. And I'm sad because there's no telling how wonderful your future work would have been.


Swell Pets*
+ Although initially Bailey was mostly excited about the cardboard box his new toys came in, he soon got down to important toy business like squeaking and initiating games of tug. Rope Gromit along with green lizard and yellow duck are his new favourite toys, he's proudly carried them almost everywhere and they have so far survived being left in the mud and having their limbs nibbled almost continuously. We don't recommend the kong frog toy though, he only lasted about 10 minutes before an irreparable hole appeared as if from nowhere. Thank you Swell Pets, Bailey really appreciates his new toys!
Keep Me Jewellery*
+ People are so talented. Tom Blake is the mastermind behind Keep Me, a collection of 10 incredibly sweet characters each with a collar that doubles as a sterling silver ring. The detail in each character is insane. I have few pieces from the range and they absolutely deserve a post of their own. All I'll say for now is that it's incredibly inspiring to see someone come up with an idea, run with it and see it emerge into something that has the potential to be huge!


In The Lonely Hour by Sam Smith
+ I pre-ordered In The Lonely Hour on vinyl because I knew it would be an album that would become an instant favourite. I listen to a lot of music on YouTube but I don't tend to buy unless it's something really special. This is really special. I'm slowly working on my vinyl collection and although I still don't have a record player Amazon is incredible for giving free digital downloads with record purchases.

- Jennie xo

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Birchbox June 2014: Global Strikers Edition.

June 2014 Birchbox* (£10 + p&p)
This is the best beauty box I've ever received. Ever. Birchbox haven't just knocked it out of the park this month, they've knocked it out of the universe. With the World Cup just around the corner Birchbox have decided to fill their boxes this month with top beauty players from across the globe and I think they've chosen some incredible products!

Silk + Honey Shea Butter Hair Mask | £55 for the full kit.
Admittedly at first I wasn't that excited about this, but after having a little look around the website I'm so glad the box has introduced me to this brand. The online shop doesn't seem to be open yet, but it will contain kits to make luxury, all-natural beauty products at home. Each kit will contain instructions and all the ingredients and the rest is up to you. A brand I'm going to keep an eye on for sure because I've never come across anything quite like it.

Mini O.P.I Nail Polish from the Brazil Collection | Full size £11.95
I think this shade is called Where Did Suzi's Man-go? and it's a beautiful bright mango orange polish with a creme finish. It looks like it's going to be pretty opaque and this will be going on my toes this afternoon to inject a little bit of summer into my life despite the torrential rain outside. Thanks British summer!

Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre Nourishing Moisturiser | from £12.99
Although this is only a tiny sample, I'm still pleased to finally be able to give it a try after hearing so many good things about it for years. It promises to soothe skin with natural ingredients, being suitable for all skin types. From what I've heard this is a no-frills moisturiser that hydrates well and is a lovely base for make up. Looking forward to trying it!

Caudalie Divine Oil | from £18
This both smells and feels divine, they're certainly not wrong there! This is a dry oil that sinks in incredibly quickly, hydrating the skin beautifully while leaving a silky sheen and a delicate fragrance. This is a lovely product, very luxurious and a wonderful addition to the box this month.

Beauty Blender & Solid Blender Cleanser | £26
As soon as I opened the box and saw this inside, I was instantly impressed. Even if there were no other products inside I would have been thrilled with just this! It's made an otherwise great box into an amazing box!

Last month I bought the Real Techniques Sponge to try, not really knowing if I'd use it that much, and I've used it every single day. I was beginning to think about buying a Beauty Blender, I've had one in my cart a few times but talked myself out of purchasing every time. I'm beyond excited to have this bright pink little sponge in my life. There's also a little Blender Cleanser in there, which is nice to try and I'll be interested to see if it's better than what I've been using for my Real Techniques sponge so far.

Birchbox Brazil Inspired Keyring | Lifestyle Extra
I love the lifestyle extra idea and this one doesn't disappoint. It's super fun and going straight on my keys to brighten them up!

I'm beyond impressed! This is easily the best box I've seen in a long long time, if not the best box I've ever seen from any beauty subscription service. A nice mix of well-known brands, an exciting sounding new brand, and a little bit of fun too. Well done Birchbox UK!

Are you subscribed to Birchbox? 
What do you think of this month's box?

- Jennie xo

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Sailboat.

Pandora Sailboat Charm*
I often feel like a small sailboat, trying to make my way across a giant ocean, attempting to dodge the larger boats (those who know exactly where they're going and what they're doing) and getting swept into dark, intimidating looking coves (negative thoughts) to reach the safety of the harbour far into the distance. Sometimes the wind makes sailing along a breeze and sometimes getting to where I would like to be feels like an impossible task. Sometimes it feels like I'm battling against those big angry grey clouds that are blowing a gale and threatening to rip my sails at the seams. What often amazes me more than anything is the speed at which the winds can change. Sunny days can flit to raging storms in what feels like the blink of an eye.

But to truly appreciate those bright, clear days that are full of uninterrupted sunshine with a light, refreshing breeze, it's necessary to have to battle through some stormy seas. That feeling when those angry storm clouds start to dissolve and those rays of sunshine start to peek through, illuminating everything that crosses their path is, well... it's priceless. And the best part? Those people that really matter, the ones that you should always keep close by, will be waiting for you in the harbour no matter how long it takes you to get there.

This little boat is determined to keep moving forwards, no matter what.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Dear June...

Where the heck did you come from?! Time really does fly! I keeping my fingers tightly crossed that you bring some long stretches of sunshine with you. I'm not one for hot weather, but after weeks and weeks of endless rain I'm certainly willing to cope with some humid nights in return for some blue skies and sunny days. I'm envisioning warm afternoons outside in the garden, reading a good book with a glass of cold lemonade in hand. The reality of that will probably mean an attack of bees too but I'll ignore that!

My first few weeks of being 25 have actually been incredibly salubrious. This is definitely the beginning of a new chapter in my life. I've been starting to have a good sift through a lot of my belongings and parting with some things that don't reflect me as well as they used to has been eminently cathartic. On my list for this month is my wardrobe, mostly my excessive belt collection and ten million floral dresses. I don't think I've worn a floral dress or a belt in well over a year so it seems odd to keep hold of so many. They remind me of my late teens, which is why I think I've been so unwilling to part with them until now. But I think it's time.

There are currently a ridiculous amount of books heading my way that I'm going to make my way through before next term starts. One of my favourite things about University is the ridiculously long reading lists they give me. It means I can buy books without any of the guilt. The ultimate excuse for book buying is education. Thankfully I'm also looking forward to reading all of them. The feeling of having to read something you're just not that interested in isn't a good one and I've definitely had my fair share of those before, but I think I've finally mastered the art of successful module choosing.

Lets go, June! I sure hope you're a good one!

- Jennie xo