Monday, 20 May 2019

Essential Oils You Can't Do Without - Book Review *gifted

Hi all,

Hope everyone is well, and having a good week. If not, then maybe this book review can help a little. I was recently *gifted a copy of this book all about essential oils, and have just finished, what turned out to be a much better than expected book.

The content of the book is centred around 6 essential oils: tea tree, lemon, lavender, peppermint, rosemary cineole, and damask rose, plus some bonus oils. It's divided up into easy to digest sections, first an overview of each of the main oils featured, and then how to use them. Part 2 has sections for beauty, mind and body, and the home with different sub sections in between. Skin concerns are divided up by age brackets, there are ideas for different rooms in the house, and some useful massage techniques that you can practice yourself.


PROS:
  • Good, clear advice in the comments at the start of each section on how long to use the oils for, and when to get advice on use and application. 
  • Easy to follow ideas with precise dosage (very important part to get right).
  • Nice to learn more of familiar ingredients such as Argan, which I see in products all the time, but don't know much about. 
  • General guidance on what to look for when buying aromatherapy oils.

CONS:
  • The book seems to have an international reach, stating product availability and usage advice may vary from country to country. I would have found UK specific buying and sourcing advice more useful.
  • Would have liked more information on what the additional/base/carrier type products are and where to find them, e.g. black liquid soap, rose hydrolate, clay paste.
  • I'm not sure how practical some of the ideas are to put in practice. I am not a fan of spiders, and love the idea of deterring them, but putting cotton wool balls soaked in lavender around the house, that could easily get moved, trodden on, or picked up and thrown away, just wouldn't work.
Overall I would say though it's a book I can trust. The instructions and safe usage advice is clear and in all the right places, there is a wide variety of ideas, in fact many more than I expected, and it was enjoyable to read. Now I just need to get my hands on some essential oils to try out some of the suggestions myself. My favourite so far are the face masks, a solution for cleaning your hair brush, and their suggestions for concentration, well-being, and anxiety. 

Have you tried any essential oils in your life for the home or beauty/skincare? Do let me know in the comments below. I have used lavender with a base oil in the bath, and a high street headache product for the forehead with peppermint oil in and both worked well. I look forward to hopefully trying some new ideas and reporting back in the future. 

6 Essential Oils You Can't Do Without by Daniele Festy, is published by Eddison Books Ltd. Daniele was a renowned pharmacist and best selling author. 

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Alteya Organics Lip Balm Review *gifted

How is this for timing; a new lip balm arrived in the post to review just as I have been suffering with dry skin and lips. Not sure why that's happening as the weather is starting to look up, but thank you to those who gifted me a sample of Alteya Organics Lip Balm.

These lip balms are USDA certified 100% organic, chemical and GMO free, and is marked as not tested on animals. As with many lip balms out there, they also claim to soothe, moisturise, and fight signs of ageing on the packaging.

The different options are:
  • Rose
  • Jasmine and Ylang Ylang
  • Vanilla and Geranium
  • Lavender and Mint
  • Grapefruit and Zoravetz
  • Lavender
I am always drawn to the lip balm section of any shop, and have on occasion ended up with a little collection of balms with various scents/ingredients, so this was a review I was looking forward to, although I admit to being a bit sceptical when I saw I had been sent the lavender and mint version. I love both things, and use mint lip balms quite often, but I never would have thought of putting them both together in a lip product. But having used it for a while now, the smell is definitely not what I was expecting. I thought the lavender would over power, but it's a good balance of the two ingredients together and is quite subtle. On the lips it feels nice, with a slight refreshing feeling coming from the mint, and seems to last quite a while before it needs replacing. 

Although it's not my favourite lip balm I've tried, I'd still use it again, and try out one or two of the other options. I'm curious about the grapefruit and jasmine ones. Prices start at £3.60 with products available from Love Lula, a natural beauty shop. 

Monday, 4 March 2019

Elaine Everest - A Gift From Woolworths Book Review

Hi all,

I was very lucky to be invited to join in my very first book tour last year for the latest book in the Woolworth's Girls series, and it was a lot of fun to send in my questions, and read everyone else's posts. You can read my stop on the blog tour HERE. I was also kindly gifted the book to review as well, and have finally got around to putting my pen to paper and writing a review.

One of the first things that struck me about this novel, having read the other books in the series, was the marked change in tone and mood within the characters. They are no longer fearful of war, they are fearful of life when the war ends, and the changes that will bring. It's quite an intense piece of writing that really brings home how the female characters adjusted to life in wartime, and their new found independence, and work home/life.



What's also interesting, is the contrast between the characters that seem to embrace change and look forward to moving on, and those who are fearful, or are very used to their current roles, and don't know how to adjust. There's Betty who faces new challenges as a mother, but can't imagine life without the store, while George faces a family tragedy, yet is positive, ready to move on, and looks to the future.

One of the best additions to this story has to be the addition of Mr Porter. Having felt the changing tones in the novel and read the previous stories, I think he was a breath of fresh air. All the scenes featuring his character as he tries to rule the roost at Woolworths were very visual and amusing, and it was quite satisfying as a reader to picture the Woolworth's girls causing some mischief and standing up to him. I was a bit sceptical beforehand as to what else you could add to this story, in wartime, which hadn't already been covered, but this was the perfect way to add some light relief.

I've not written any stories since I studied English at school, so it always surprises me to read and notice all the little details Elaine includes in her novels, things as a reader I may not have thought of; such as putting the brake on a pram so it doesn't roll down the hill, or placing a plate in a bowl pouring hot water from the kettle on top. Very little detail is missed in the scene setting, and that helps keep things interesting.

I think the book, and perhaps the series came to a natural conclusion with all the characters looking forward to life without war, and although I've loved reading the books, I'm not sure how you'd continue on from that point and keep the same quality of writing. I'm ready for a change, which is maybe just as well, as the next release from Elaine Everest is brand new, shiny, and coming out in May. Keep an eye out for The Teashop Girls, but after you've caught up with the Woolworth's Girls series of course!

And Elaine, I'm still holding out for a sequel to The Butlins Girls!

This book was gifted to me for the purposes of this review, but all opinions are my own. Many thanks to Elaine Everest, Pan Macmillan and ED PR for continuing to support my blog through these opportunities.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Passion In The Bones - Elaine Howard - Book Preview

"We are never too old to learn and pursue new adventures"

This quote comes from Elaine Howard, an American attorney, palaeontology enthusiast, and now author, who has released her book Passion in the Bones: A Guide to Breaking the Chains of Negativity and Living Your Own Adventure. I've been lucky enough to be invited on to the blog tour for this release, so for my stop I thought I'd preview the book and the ideas behind it, and maybe someday soon (I have a huge reading pile to get through first) some of you will join me in checking out the full book for yourselves.

One of the things that appealed to me when I was sent details of this book, was the creative angles taken. Creativity and well-being for me go hand in hand always, so for Elaine to link mind-set, mental health, and pursuing your passions, to her passion for dinosaurs is intriguing.



Passion in the Bones has been described as a 'step by step guide to changing your mind set, exploring your interests, identifying and nurturing true passions, and sharing them with others.' The common theme is all surrounding the fact that you have the power to change your life, and make the most of it, and that passion provides purpose.

Elaine describes the four essential characteristics of any life changing passion as:

1) It must be something positive and productive.
2) You're genuinely excited about it.
3) You pursue it on an on-going basis.
4) It's something you share with others.

Would you agree with those sentiments? is there anything else you'd add? let me know below. It's clear from the blurb on the book that Elaine Howard has found her passion in dinosaurs and palaeontology, after challenges with self-esteem and other issues, and she wants to use this help and inspire other people.

Find out more one the website or Instagram and you can purchase the book using these links:

Amazon UK
Amazon.com


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Essential Oils You Can't Do Without - Book Review *gifted