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

Monday, 28 April 2014

Hello again.

It's only been a few weeks but this draft page feels both familiar and not, both at the same time. It feels familiar in all of the best ways and unfamiliar in the most exciting, albeit mildly terrifying too. I'm sitting on the floor with little Ralphie trying to nibble on my pyjamas on one side and a milky coffee in my favourite mug on the other.

Putting the mug on the floor probably wasn't the best idea. My feet seem to have an incredible knack for being violently attracted to anything on the floor, be it mug, cup, glass or bowl. If it's full of anything that will spill all over the carpet the inevitable will usually happen. They don't seem to be so attracted to empty mugs though. Typical. But honestly, I'm too comfortable to move so it's a risk I'm going to take. Living life on the wild side over here.

You know, I always thought that the day I start liking coffee is the day that I would feel old. And now I do really like coffee and I sometimes I do feel old, it's not the bad kind of old I always thought it would be. It's the wiser kind of old. The best kind. Although sometimes my back hurts and there's not really anything good about that. Wise or not. But I have discovered the wonder of the back massage. The best.

The radio silence was unintentional. At least a week had passed before I realised that writing and hitting the publish button hadn't crossed my mind. Not even once. And since I started writing here all those years ago that hadn't happened until now. It was a new experience and I wasn't really sure how I felt about it at first. So when I did finally realise that I hadn't been writing, I just couldn't get the words out. It's difficult to find the right combination of words when trying to find that right combination had fallen to the bottom of the importance list. Sometimes I think it takes something completely unexpected to make taking that step back, that I really needed to take, possible. It's like I needed something to give me permission to stop for a while. I had slowly been ensnared in that trap of completely overlooking everything good and important and necessary. Instead I was throwing too much time, energy and attention into trying to fix things that were going completely tits up because I thought it would be the end of the world if they did. In reality those things were pretty insignificant and I'm happy to have been able to leave them be. They absolutely did go tits up, but I think they were supposed to. And I think I'm supposed to be okay with that. And I am. And it feels good.

The funny thing about blogging is being able to pick a month in the past and within a few clicks it's possible to relive that time all over again. It's rare that I take down posts, but oh goodness there are a couple that are now firmly relegated to the drafts section. They're not necessarily things I want to forget but I don't want to stumble upon them accidentally when I'm not expecting it. They need to be stored in a clearly labelled box as it were. It's kind of like the utensil drawer in our kitchen, I wouldn't rummage around in there willy nilly for fear of a knife in hand incident. Open with caution. I think it's okay to have things like that. And I think it's okay for them to be a secret just for me. 

Mostly these past couple of weeks have foregrounded how incredibly lucky I am. Even though sometimes bad things happen. And sometimes I'm sad. And there will undoubtedly be periods of time in the future when other bad things will happen and I'll be sad again for a little while. But I'm so lucky to just be. To be here. To be alive. To see the sun rise. To see the sun set. To see the stars emerge from within the infinite inky blue sky that nightfall gives. To have someone who loves me even when I'm having a bad day. To have someone that I love even when he's having a bad day. All of those things and so much more deserve to be treasured. Even the bad times because they make the good times so much better. The things that we love need work. They won't ever work perfectly by themselves. The best things need work and effort and attention and time. It's part of what makes them magical. And we never know how long we have. Sometimes you can love something infinitely and it doesn't work out, for whatever reason. We can only treasure things for as long as they're with us, appreciate them and never ever forget them.

It's good to be here again. And although sometimes there might be weeks where I simply don't have anything to say and it'll be a little quiet, knowing this is here, knowing you're here gets me through. I hope you will still be here even when I inevitably don't pop up on your dashboard everyday anymore. I don't possess that same talent that many bloggers have for posting daily. I admire them enormously and I have no idea how they do it. When I tried I became someone who wasn't me. But I've found her again, she wasn't too far away. And things might be a little different around here going forward, but I think it's time I took a leaf out of nineteen-year-old-me's book. I think she was on the right path all along all those years ago, she just didn't have the self-belief to keep following it. It's time to stop choosing what is easy and have a little more faith in my voice. Things come. Things go. But we live. And we love. And we grow. And we learn.

'Where the windows are breathing in the light,
Where the rooms are a collection of our lives,

This is a place where I don't feel alone
This is a place that I call my home'

Thank you. For being you. For being here. For being with me.
And I'll see you soon. Unquestionably. 

...And no kicking over of the coffee occurred. You know, I think today might just be my day! 

Sunday, 13 April 2014

April 2014 Birchbox: Good Enough To Eat Edition!

April 2014 Birchbox* (£10 + p&p)

Birchbox are excellent at creating different themes for their boxes. Although I think they could have made last month's Lulu Guinness Edition a little bit more special, I'm really excited for this month. As always their design and photography team are on fire with the information cards and there's even a Hummingbird Bakery salted caramel cupcake recipe included - yum!

I'm still loving the drawstring bag they have inside the box because they're surprisingly useful! First impressions this month were really positive, I immediately saw some brands I recognised and a couple of things I was instantly excited to try.

Lord & Berry Couture Kohl Kajal Eye Pencil | Sample size. (Full size: £10)
I'll start with one of the things that I know I won't get a lot of use out of, not because it's bad but just because I rarely wear eyeliner. I'm quite fond of the things I've tried from Lord & Berry minus the mascara that was drier than a desert. Once this pencil is warmed up slightly it seems to apply pretty smoothly and smudges out amazingly so I think this might be the perfect liner for a sultry, smoky eye look. I don't think I'll have much trouble finding someone who would love to give this a try.

Color Club Gala's Gems Nail Polish | (Set of four: £15)
Birchbox teamed up with a London-based Spanish blogger to create four nail polish shades that are exclusive to Birchbox. This pretty green is a little bit too metallic for me, but I think it would look amazing for the summer. There's a beautiful blue in the collection that looks especially beautiful along with a soft gold and a pearly off-white.

Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Facial Towelettes | (Full size 30 towelettes: £4.99)
The Yes To range has consistently been one I've heard good things about for a long time. The only reason I haven't purchased anything from the Yes To Cucumbers range before is I hate the scent of cucumbers.

These do have a definite cucumber scent but for some reason, I actually quite like it so although I don't reach for wipes that often, I'll be keeping hold of these for when I have one of those 'I need to take my make up off right now' moments!
Laura Mercier Ambre Vanille Souffle Body Creme | Sample size. (Full size £44.50)
So I opened this, put a little on my hands and the scent immediately had me wanting to grab my purse, head to the nearest Laura Mercier counter and give them ALL my money in return for their beautiful beautiful products!

The whipped consistency makes it feel super light, it sinks in almost immediately but it manages to feel intensely hydrating and soothing. And the scent. Oh my gosh, the scent! It's so incredibly luxurious and it lingers beautifully for hours. I now totally understand the love that people have for Laura Mercier body products!

The Balm Cosmetics How 'Bout Them Apples? Cheek & Lip Cream | Sample size. (Full size palette with all 6 colours: £26)
It's no secret that I'm a total sucker for cream products, the Stila Convertible Colours are my favourite ever but they might just have a rival in this beauty from The Balm. So far I've tried it both as a blush and on my lips and I must say, it's pretty impressive. The formula stays very dewy so the wear time isn't the longest ever, but the finish is beautiful and utterly perfect for fresh, Spring time make up looks.

I have a little sample of the shade Pie which is a very pretty pinky-red & definitely the one I would have chosen for myself. The full size palette contains all 6 shades and oh my goodness I would very much like to own one!

Propercorn Sweet Coconut & Vanilla | 90p
The lifestyle extra is popcorn which is just about my favourite thing right now so this was very much appreciated. And I say was because it lasted all of 5 minutes after I opened the box. I love coconut. I love vanilla. I love popcorn. I loved this!

Overall I completely loved the box this month. I especially liked the variety of products and the brands they've included. The star products for me are the Laura Mercier body cream and The Balm cheek & lip cream!

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

Saturday, 12 April 2014

April 2014 Glossybox: Sweet Treats Edition.

April Glossybox* (£10 + p&p)

He-Shi Professional Tanning Face & Body Gel (£7.95 for 50ml)
Self-tan just isn't my thing. I don't mind being somewhat Caspar-the-friendly-ghost-esque all year round and I would probably make a huge mess if I were to ever attempt to apply it. From what I've heard about He-Shi, they seem to be a pretty well known brand and I like that their products aren't tested on animals.

With summer slowly approaching I do think this is a nice addition to the box, especially for those ladies that love to self-tan or who are a little braver than I am about trying new things! 

Emite Make Up Lip Brush (£17)
It's very rare that I use lip colours that benefit from being applied with a brush, but I do really like the angled shape of this one. While this won't make its way into my brush collection, it will be finding its way into my craft supplies box because I think it could be perfect for some crafty things I'd like to try this summer!
Monu Spa Warming Ginger Massage & Body Oil (£26 for the full size 100ml)
Ginger is one of my favourite winter scents, but now that it's getting a little warmer I prefer scents that are slightly more fresh and fruity. I think adding a few drops to a bath would be lovely, but it's not something that I feel that I need to try immediately because I'd be missing out if I didn't. If that makes any sense at all.
Tresemme Instant Refresh Cleansing Dry Shampoo (£5.25)
Although not the most exciting product, I'm always happy to add another dry shampoo to my beauty cupboard because my hair needs all the help texture wise it can get. After a quick look around online reviews seem to be pretty mixed so I have a feeling this might be a love/hate kind of product. It's on the pricey side too, it's more than I'd be willing to pay for a dry shampoo without knowing that I already like it so this is quite a nice addition to the box.
MeMeMe Cosmetics Beat The Blues in Pearl Pink (£5.50)
Definitely my favourite product this month, I've already incorporated it into my daily make up routine and it's been so lovely to have a little bit of an extra glow now that the sunshine is starting to appear a little more often. It's not too overwhelming either, it's a very pretty glow. This has definitely saved the box from being one I would have been really disappointed with.

Overall this box is just okay. I'm not wowed but it's not the worst box ever either. Fingers crossed that the May box is a little more impressive, I think Glossybox turns 3 next month so I'm hopeful that it's going to be a good one!

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

Monday, 7 April 2014


Little Ralphie has the sweetest personality.

Yesterday he moved the piece of wood I use as a barrier between his bunny teeth and the bottom shelf of my bookshelf out of the way so he could give the little poodle lots of bunny kisses.

They're firm friends now, in fact he won't let me move the piece of wood back, and he keeps hopping back over for more kisses. 

Friday, 4 April 2014

A few disappointing products...

It's not often that I'm left feeling disappointed with a product. I tend to read a lot of reviews before I buy anything new and as I get older I'm definitely getting increasingly more particular about the things I try. Sometimes though there are products that can work amazingly well for seemingly everyone else, but for whatever reason they haven't wowed me. That's not to say that I think they're terrible because they're absolutely not since they work so well for so many, and for the most part I'll still use them, I just wouldn't repurchase.

Benefit They're Real Mascara | £19.50
This was in my last disappointing products post, but I was convinced into trying another tube by a friend who absolutely swears by it and to be fair her lashes do always look incredible! Sadly the second time around I still have the same feelings as I did when I first tried it last year. It still really stings my eyes and I don't think it's infinitely better at lengthening and volumising than my favourite Maybelline The Falsies. At least I know now that the first tube I had wasn't a bad batch, this is just one of those products that doesn't work as well for me as it does for others and that's okay!
MAC Lipglass Lipgloss | £14
These are incredibly glossy, they give an almost vinyl look to the lips that looks amazing but they're so incredibly sticky and gloopy feeling, which makes them feel really uncomfortable to wear. The highstreet does lipgloss really well for a fraction of the price and if you do fancy splurging on a gloss I think there are so many nicer options including the Clarins Lip Perfectors.
Rimmel Apocalips in Luna | £6.49
It took me a long time to give these a try but I finally gave in after the hype didn't seem to lessen even months after they had been released. Luna is a beautiful colour, but it's just a tiny bit too orange for me and it smells like plastic & cucumber, which makes me shudder a little. I know that a lot of people absolutely love this range though, so don't let me put you off trying them if there's a colour that appeals to you!

NARS Blush in Orgasm | £21.50
This has to be one of the most talked about make up products and although I like it, I don't love it as much as I thought I would. It's a really pretty pink with warm undertones, it has a little bit if shimmer in there that's not overpowering, and it lasts really well throughout the day. It just doesn't wow me and I think there are other colours within the NARS blush range that are much prettier.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo(+)* | £15.50
The original formula of this has been mentioned so often in the bloggersphere over the last few months so I was pretty excited to try the new and improved version. I was hoping that it would really help clear up and perhaps even work to prevent blemishes, but unfortunately it didn't do anything for me at all. It's not often that I'm left feeling really disappointed with a product but I have been with this one.

Are there any products that have left you feeling a little disappointed?