Raiin Monkey

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Tuesday, 14 November 2017

How To Pack a Christmas Shoebox

Hi lovelies! If you've followed me for a long time now, you will know that every year around this time since 2015, I've taken part in a Christmas charity initiative. Have you ever heard of Christmas shoeboxes? the shoebox appeal? Well if not, it's an absolutely wonderful 'project' that takes place each year, encouraging people to put together shoeboxes for children worldwide, who may not receive presents for Christmas! 

My primary school didn't do it but when I've spoken to others, they remember packing Christmas shoeboxes for children across the world when they were in school. Did you put together shoeboxes when you were a kid? If so, then you might have been sending them with the help of the Christian charity, Samaritan's Purse. Even though I'm not a Christian myself, I think that the Shoebox Appeal aka Operation Christmas Child is a fantastic thing and the charity also run so many other wonderful projects, such as 'International Disaster Relief' and 'Woman at Risk' (If you're interested there's lots of info about what they do on their website). Today's post is of course going to all about the Shoebox Appeal. I've blogged a few times now about the initiative, that I've been taking part around Christmas for the last three years, but in previous posts I've mostly just shown what I've packed into my boxes. So, this time I thought I'd focus more on what you actually need to pack into them. Keep reading to find out how to pack your own Christmas shoebox :) 

Shoebox Appeal - How to pack a shoebox

So first of all, you'll need to get yourself an empty standard-sized shoebox (preferably the kind with a seperate lid) and wrap it with adorable Christmas paper! You also need to decide who you want to send your shoebox to and print off a category label to attach to the top of your box. You can either put together a shoebox for a boy or a girl, then there are three age group categories once you'd decided on this: 2-4 year old, 5-9 year old and 10-14 year old. It's a shame because overall less boxes are packed for the 10-14 year old children, and since I found this out I've made sure that I always do a Christmas box for this age group. Once you're settled on who your box is going to, it's time to fill it. But what do you include? 

Shoebox Appeal - How to pack a shoebox

(1) Hygiene Products 

On the Samaritan's Purse website, there is a whole section dedicated to telling you what to include in your shoeboxes, however I thought I'd share this post anyway to let people know about this awesome project but also because I know that I personally prefer reading photographic guides where I can actually for myself see what someone has included. Before I pack my boxes, I watch a lot of youtube videos showing what people have put inside their own shoeboxes for inspiration, so I hope that my post can help give others some ideas too! 

The first items that I start to buy (a couple of months before the drop off deadline) are hygience ones because I can get them when I'm shopping for my own stuff. You can include a variety of hygiene essentials, so long as they are not in liquid-form since that's one of the things that are not allowed to be added! So here's what essentials I get: toothpaste, a toothbrush, soap (they have to wrapped according to the charity's rules so I buy a multi-pack with several individually packaged soaps inside), a flannel/wash cloth and little pack of tissues (great bargain because you can buy massive multi-packs of these!). For the older children, I always include a wash bag too, the one in the photograph is for my 10-14 year old box, and I usually get them at Superdrug/Savers for around a £1.

Shoebox Appeal - How to pack a shoebox

(2) School Supplies/Stationery

In many poverty-stricken countries where educational resources are very limited, a lot of children cannot go to school due to many reasons, with one of those reasons being that they cannot afford to get the supplies they need for their lessons. School supplies are thus a very important element to packing your Christmas shoebox, and everytime I try to squish in as much of it as I can! The photograph above just shows some examples of the stationery items that I gather for my shoeboxes, however I get so much more than this. I just haven't finished shopping yet!

I normally include: a colouring book and crayons. stickers, a pencil case or pouch and supplies to go inside of it such as a ruler, a rubber/eraser, a sharpener and a pencil. It's great when I come across stationery sets when I'm shopping for supplies because you get all these things in one! I found the Finding Dory ones last week at Card Factory for just 99p :) Stores like Wilkos, B&M Bargains and Quality Save are fantastic for getting individual rubbers, sharpeners, etc., for really great prices so they are my go-to. Notebooks and exercise books are fantastic to add into your Christmas shoeboxes too. It may look like a colouring book won't fit, but just a tip: you put them in last on top of all of your other items and tuck the sides down (if that makes sense) and Voila! it fits!. Some other products that the charity recommend are calculators, but always make sure they are solar-powered though as the children probably won't be able to get more batteries.

Shoebox Appeal - How to pack a shoebox

(3) Toys

Toys are something that makes the shoeboxes so special for the children to receive! Many parents in countries across the globe cannot afford to buy Christmas presents and so these shoeboxes are the only presents that many children will get, sometimes all year round! Christmas isn't all about presents, but you can just imagine their delight at opening a box filled with goodies! There are actually tons of videos online of the children opening their boxes and they make me cry everytime I watch them, because of the look of pure joy on all of their faces! Seeing one of these videos is what brought this initiative to my attention in the first place and I couldn't not put one together after watching it. You can read about my first shoebox here

So, what toys are recommended? A cuddly plush toy is the first toy I think about for my shoeboxes! You can include any toy as long as they are CE labelled, showing that they are safely manufactured for children. Remember not to include any battery-powered toys. As an alternative, I always look for wind-up ones and each year I find some little wind up animals, cars and these super cute robots from Quality Save and also poundshops. I get a lot of the items I include from poundshops! This year I decided that slinkies would make a cool addition to the boxes, as I loved them when I was young. Some other toy ideas: jigsaws, skipping ropes, yo-yos, balls and other sporty toys, dress-up jewellery sets, etc. I watched a video of a 10-14 year old boy from Africa earlier this year and when asked what his favourite item was, he said it was the harmonica he received and so I searched for a harmonica this year. I usually always look for recorders and xylophones for the youngest age category too. I recommend looking for surprise eggs (not chocolate ones) because they are small so you can squish them in easily. 

Shoebox Appeal - How to pack a shoebox

Shoebox Appeal - How to pack a shoebox

(4) Miscellaneous

Finally, there are quite a few other items that you can add to your shoeboxes. Sweets are an essential to my shoeboxes; you're not allowed to add chocolate and you need to make sure that your sweets last 'until at least March of the following year'. I typically opt for bags of Haribo, and you can lay them flat so they are great to fit inside the small space. I should have added my harmonica and recorder into the toy section photograph but nevermind, haha! Also the comb would probably be more fitting in the hygiene category too. The charity's website states the following items as recommendations: hats, gloves, scarves, sunglasses and sweets, but I've also seen other people include socks, books, t-shirts and water bottles. 

These hats and gloves sets are from my local poundstore, the socks aswell. You are not allowed to add any home-made/knitted items in your shoebox. I put in playdough last year for the younger children :) I always stock up on things slowly thoughout the year, if I see little items that would be perfect in sales or if I receive items in my subscription boxes that I won't use myself, I'll save them to go into the box. There was recently a flash sale on the Blippo website, the same company who created the Kawaii Box that I used to subscribe to, so I picked up quite a few items to go in my shoeboxes from there :) 

Shoebox Appeal - How to pack a shoebox

So, here's an example of one of the boxes I will be sending this year! It's not completed yet, there's still a few little bits & bobs that I need to pick up, but I wanted to show you anyway. This box will be going to a 10-14 year old boy. Last year, I spent boxes to three girls, one for each age category and one boy, so this time around I'm doing the opposite. I'll be sending three boys boxes, one for a 2-4 year old, one for a 5-9 year old and of course, the older age category. Then, I'm also packing a box for a 10-14 year girl. I know that I send a lot of boxes, but you could just pack one!

Shoebox Appeal - How to pack a shoebox

For gathering all of the supplies to pack inside your box, you will need to spend around £15-£20, although some people manage to get everything for a tenner by using charity shops and sale items. Then you need to pay £5 for the shipping donation, it used to be just £3 but they've increased it for 2017. You can add a cheque into the box or you can pay online, which is the way I do it. You print off your code and pop it on top inside your shoebox. Using this method also means that you can use their charities 'track your box' service. If you request it, you will be sent an email in the New Year telling you roughly where your shoebox has been sent to!

You or your loved ones may have some empty shoeboxes laying around your house to use but if not, you can go to ShoeZone who will be happy to help since most of their stores volunteer as an Operation Christmas Child drop-off point. My local store does, so I will put taking mine there this week. So, I've ended up sharing this post a little later than I wanted to so there's only actually a few days left to pack your shoeboxes. The deadline for you to take them to your local drop-off point is the 18th November (you can find nearby drop-off points on the Samaritan's Purse website). You could certainly put one together after a day of shopping for supplies, however if you don't fancy that, the charity offer a online version. You can pay £20 (£15 worth of supplies, plus your shipping fee) and select some items that you'd like to add via their website. Here's a video clip that shows you how and such. If you can't join in this year, there's always next year! Remember to utilise those After Christmas sales to grab some bargain items :)

Shoebox Appeal - How to pack a shoebox

So on Thursday, I'll have wrapped all of my boxes with Christmas paper and secured the print-off lapels onto top of them, displaying who the box is intended for. I'll have paid my shipping fees and added the codes inside the boxes, and then it's off to the local shopping centre. Before handing in my shoeboxes at ShoeZone, I need to pick up a few last-minute items to pop inside. I will then put an elastic band around each box to make sure it's not going to burst open or whatever, and drop them off in store. I hope that my post today has been helpful and interesting, and that it has also encouraged you to take part yourself. Let me know if you do, and feel free to tag me in any photos of your shoeboxes too because I'd love to see. Christmas is the season of giving, and it's such a special gift to give to a child to brighten up their day :)

Thankyou for reading!


Do you get involved in any charity events?

Monday, 13 November 2017

Autumn Pusheen Box 2017 | Review

Happy Monday Everyone! Sorry about my inactivity over the last few days! I've been super busy, and because of that I've been exhausted. I've pretty much spent my evenings binge watching shows on Netflix and wishing that I had some decent pain medication to help with my fibromyalgia. I had a lovely day out on Thursday but unfortunately days out always make me so tired and achy, no matter how much fun they are >.< It was indeed a very fun day though! My best friend & I hung out with one of our friends that we've not seen for absolutely ages, and we all went to the cinema & for a meal. We saw Thor: Ragnarok (which was so awesome and hilarious) and headed to Frankie & Benny's to eat afterwards. I got my usual steak meal main course and cinnamon waffle dessert because, well I'm a creature of habit. On Friday, I went out again, to Currys/PC World in search of a new laptop... didn't find any I liked... there's too many choices and I'm crap at making on the spot decisions. I really need to get one soon! I also went to The Range to stock up on Christmas bits & pieces and have a good nosey around, since I haven't been to the store for years now! Spent over the budget I'd set for myself, oops. I spent the majority of the weekend in Preston, where I went on a night out (and had a great night!) to my favourite alternative nightclub and slept off my hangover for pretty much the entirety of Sunday. Anyway on with today's post, haha!

As I promised over on Instagram on Wednesday, I'm going to be showing you what I received inside my Autumn Pusheen subscription box today *it's going to be pic heavy*. I am so so freakin' delighted that I've been able to re-subscribe to this AMAZING quarterly (each season) box. It's pricey but really worth the money because you get such high quality and often exclusive items! They are all really useful items too. So without further ado, here's what I got...

Autumn 2017 Pusheen Box

Autumn 2017 Pusheen Box

In this edition of the Pusheen Box, you get nine gorgeous items, most of which have a specific autumanl theme. Over on the official Pusheen Box instagram and also via email updates, you are always shown a few sneak-peeks of what's going to be inside the box, so I already knew that I would be getting another jumper/sweater and also the first ever plushie to be added into their subscription boxes. I was sooooo excited about these two items, because I absolutely adore the jumper that I was sent in last year's Autumn Pusheen Box! (you can have a nosey at that here). Let's take a closer look at the gorgeous fall print on this jumper...

Autumn 2017 Pusheen Box

Autumn 2017 Pusheen Box

I was so over the moon with this jumper! On the spoiler photos I'd seen, it actually looked like the jumper was white which I wasn't too happy about because I don't really like white outfits and also because it would get dirty so quickly and stain easily, etc. When it arrives though, I discovered that it was actually a pale brownish colour, I don't even know how to explain the colour but it's not white and so I am happy! I love that this box actually caters for plus sized customers when it comes to clothes, because it's been so sad in the past when I've received lovely tees in other subscriptions boxes that didn't actually fit me. My last jumper by Pusheen was baggy and awesome and it's so comfy on. I can't wait to try this one. The print is just so super cute, I absolutely adore all of the little mushrooms/toadstools, acorns and leaves! I love that pusheen is holding them too, and that the print has a lot of variety VS my last jumper which was covered in identical cats. What do you all think of this jumper?

Autumn 2017 Pusheen Box

Autumn 2017 Pusheen Box

I absolutely love stationery so I am very happy to add these pretty Pusheen products to my collection. I use A LOT of list pads because I write to-do-list every day, several times a day! I find that they help to relieve my anxiety and they help motivate me (most of the time, haha). I love the design at the top of this list pad featuring Pusheen and Stormy wrapped up all warm and cosy in matching scarves, surrounded by lovely autumn nature details. I like how much space you get on each sheet for writing your lists :) I love my new pen too! The colour is gorgeous, and of course the Pusheen topper is so so cute! It says that it's a topper but you can't actually remove it which is a shame.When I've finished with the pen, I would have liked to re-use the topper on another one but nevermind, I will find a way to get it off the pen and display it as a mini figure somewhere in my bedroom. 

Autumn 2017 Pusheen Box

How awesome is this Pusheen Pancake Pan!? (so many P's in one sentence, haha!) What an awesome item to include in the box, I am definitely impressed. My sister is also very jealous of this because she loves pancakes and I mean, who doesn't want a Pusheen one? I love that this pan is super useful and can be used all year round. I like that they've made the handle a pale shade of pink too. It looks lovely! I will be sure to show you all the first pancake I make with it :) 

Autumn 2017 Pusheen Box

As someone who is a little too obsessed with plushies, you can imagine how excited I was when we were all told about this edition to the box! It's the first plushie that they've added and I very much hope that it's not the last. I have wanted a Pusheen teddy for so so long now and I can't believe I finally have one, and it's such an adorable one too! I love that Pusheen is holding an acorn because it's one of my favourite symbols of autumn. I love her delighted expression too. It's an amazing product and there's not much more I can say about it other than it's really soft and I adore it! She will be getting pride of place in my new plushie display (coming soon- when I get my new bedroom all finished!).

Autumn 2017 Pusheen Box

This is one of the items included in the box that isn't autumnal themed but it's gorgeous and I'm glad to receive it nonetheless. The main theme of my new bedroom will be white and blue/turquoise with an array of pastel colours too because I could never settle on just one colour... but the main theme will hopefully be blue, so this cushion cover is perfect! I wouldn't choose to buy a cushion with these pom-poms on it, however this is a Pusheen cushion so that makes all the difference. The pom-poms are fabulous quality too and very soft. I love that Pusheen is winking and I love the simplistic design of the cushion itself. It's a great item! I'd love to hear all your opinions on this item in the comments. 

Autumn 2017 Pusheen Box

I would have taken this wonderful shower curtain out of the box to show you all, but there's no way that I would be able to fold it up well enough to get it back into the box. I suck at getting things like this back into their packaging, oops. However the picture of the front of the box shows the print that is in giant-form on the curtain itself. Even though this item is lovely and I'm happy to receive it, we don't have rail or anything in our bathroom at home for me to put this up so it's not going to get used for a long, long time until I have moved into my own place in the future. It's an autumnal design but I would be happy to use it throughout the year since I love the season! It's my favourite :) I think that the shower curtain and the next item that I'm going to show you are pretty random items for the box but they are very nice surprises either way. 

Autumn 2017 Pusheen Box

Here's the next bathtime themed item that was packed into the Autumn Pusheen Box. I really really love this super sweet bath mat. It's so pretty, especially with it being a pastel pink colour with a white trim. My heart almost melts from cuteness overload everytime I look at it, and I couldn't ever bring myself to use this in a bathroom because I wouldn't want it to get ruined. I have considered using it as a small rug in my bedroom, but I'm unsure yet as again, I wouldn't want it to get spoilt. I will definitely find some way to using it because it's too nice not to be shown off. I am impressed with how great the material feets and by how well-crafted it is. Another brilliant item! I am yet to be disappointed with any item in this subscription box and that is why I recommend it despite the price! 

Autumn 2017 Pusheen Box

Autumn 2017 Pusheen Box

So, we've come to the final item in this edition of the Pusheen Box, the vinyl figure! Every box contains one of these fantastic figures that's designed after the theme to the box. Meaning our little Pusheen had to have a little yellow leaf, an acorn or a mushroom/toadstool... and I am mega happy that it's the mushroom!! I have forever had a thing for mushrooms! I have mushroom necklaces, prints, stickers, erasers and even four different coloured kawaii mushroom bean-bag plushies because I apparently can't get enough of mushroom merch. I have no idea why, but maybe my love for the Mario character Toad as a child has imprinted on me, and also my fascination with fairy rings (if you haven't heard of these, have a google. They are awesome!). I love this little vinyl Pusheen holding a cute mini toadstool, and it's actually the best vinyl, in my opinion, out of all the Pusheen boxes I've purchased so far. I'm a big fan of it's simplistic design too. 

I almost forgot to mention how fantastic the design for Autumn's box was! Just look how colourful and bright those leaves covering the top of the box are! I think they just look fabulous, like wow! The Pusheen Box always has the cutest design, with four paw prints on the underside, a face on the front and a tail on the back, but this one also had a toadstool on one of the sides which was a lovely touch. The packaging is beautiful which just gives you an idea of how good the items inside are gonna be! They also wrap it in plastic for all of your postage labels to go on, meaning your box doesn't get ruined :)

I hope that I've all enjoyed reading about the Autumn Pusheen Box, as much as I've enjoyed showing you all. I am in love with all the amazing items that I've been sent! You can subscribe for yourself over on the Pusheen Box website, and it costs around £45-£50 (I can't remember exactly off the top of my head). But that's for a big box like the one I've written about today every 3 months so I don't think that's bad at all, especially because you know that all of the items are going to be of the best quality and are all actually going to be something you can use. Just a heads up though that you will get taxed by the Royal Mail because the contents of the box is over £15, so that's where it gets even more costly. I hate this tax! I order a lot of stuff from America being a blind box figure collector so I am well used to this annoying addition cost to get the products I love :( 

I am a lover of Pusheen, because it's just the cutest little cat and I think this box is so so worth the subscription (and overpriced tax, ugh). Are you a fan of Pusheen? 

Thankyou for reading!

What's your favourite item from the Autumn 2017 Pusheen Box? 


Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Pin Badge Haul #1 | Punky Pins and Nutmeg & Arlo

Hello everyone! It's taken me so long to get this post up, oh my gosh! But here it finally is! If you follow me on Instagram, you'll have noticed that I've been buying a lot of pin badges over the last month or so. I am a pin badge collecter, I have been since I was around 12 or 13 years old, however I mostly collected touristy ones from places I'd visit or holiday at. It wasn't until a few years ago that all of the gorgeous pin creations of various artists were bought to my attention when I was browsing on tumblr one day. I was absolutely over the moon as you can imagine; I could now find a pin for almost every interest of mine! There is so much variety and I always have a never-ending wishlist of pins that I'm really wanting to add to my collection.

As a lot of you will know by now, because I've mentioned it so many times on here haha, I'm getting my own bedroom soon! My sister & I will no longer have to share a room and so I'll finally have the space I need to display my collections :) Gone will be the days when my pin badges have to live in a box or a tin or remain tucked away in the envelope they arrived in! I can finally show them off the way I've always wanted to (you'll have to wait and see what I've got planned. I can't wait to show you guys!). Because of my lack of pin storing space, I have been holding off on buying the more pricey pins for some time, but now that I'll soon be decorating and such, I couldn't help ordering the badges I've had my eyes on for ages. I've bought a few now so I thought it was best to share several haul posts. I hope you all enjoy reading them! Here are the first lot of pins that I ordered... 

Pin Badge Haul

I bought two new pins from a shop called Nutmeg & Arlo, and another two from Punky Pins which you may have heard of before. All the purchases were made via the Etsy stores of both of the businesses. I absolutely love Etsy for finding lovely, unique pin badges that you don't find anywhere else! It's a website where small businesses and independent artists can sell their products. I'm all about supporting small businesses so I always try to search for gifts and such for my loved ones on Etsy :) I'll show you my wonderful buys from Nutmeg & Arlo first.

Nutmeg and Arlo

Nutmeg and Arlo

Nutmeg and Arlo

I have purchased pins from Nutmeg & Arlo before, their Mr & Mrs Narwhal badges, and they are perfect. Such great quality and so cute! Ever since I have been keeping up to date with their products and was so happy when I could finally order some more! Alpacas are one of my most favourite animals so of course I couldn't not get this pin! I love how simplistic the design is, it just makes the alpaca's little rosy cheeks stand out so much. He's got such a sweet expression on his face, and it makes me smile every time I look at it! There's actually a sale on it at the moment so you can add this super cute alpaca to your collection for only £4.50!

The other pin badge that I chose is this lovely Harry Potter inspired 'Swish & Flick' one. I very much love the font that Nutmeg & Arlo have choosen for this pin, it just looks so fancy and pretty. I adore the little wand detail and the starry background, and whenever I read it I feel all the nostaglia as it reminds me of my life around the time that I went to see Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Something that I think it's awesome about this pin badge is that it's available in six different colours. I picked this blue shade because it includes one of my house colours; I'm a Ravenclaw! I also really like the bold outline around the outside of this pin because in my opinion, it makes it very eye-catching. I love this store and I can't recommend them enough. I still have lots of their badges on my wishlist, especially their Tormund (from Game of Thrones) heart lapel pin!

I forgot to include the other Nutmeg & Arlo product that I added to my shopping basket, which was a wonderful greetings card. It was a lovely pale blue shade with two cute pink jellyfish on the front, as well as 'Congratulations'. It was in the sale for 50p so how could I possibly resist that bargain!? I sent it to one of my dear friends to congratulate her getting a new job!

Punky Pins

Punky Pins Feminist Stickers

Punky Pins Feminist & Proud

Punky Pins X Mel Stringer

I have been lusting over the stunning badges from Punky Pins for ages! They are fabulous and I am such a fan of the brand! They make so many products with a feminism theme and I absolutely love the messages that they show. I want literally all of their pin badges however I had to stick to a budget so I decided to get the vinyl stickers that match two of the pins towards the top of my wishlist. I hope that I can get them in pin form some day but for now, I have some awesome important messages to brighten up my new laptop, which I should be getting this week, I am so flippin' excited to finally be able to work on a fully functioning one. yay! The stickers are both great quality and the colours are so vibrant. I need more!

It took a long while to finally select just two of Punky Pins enamel badges, but I settled on the 'feminist & proud' pin and one of the gorgeous ladies from the Mel Stringer X Punky Pins collaboration. If you haven't heard of Mel Stringer before, she's a very talented artist and you can check out her work here. I would be so over the moon if I could own a piece of her artwork some day, but until then I'm super happy to have a collab pin! I'm in love with the design of the Mel Stringer X Punky Pins products because they all include a positive message. I think it will be an uplifting reminder each time I look at my pin badge, and also to everyone else who sees it too when I'm wearing it. I love how sassy the ladies on the pins are too, and I'll be very proud to rock this one on my outfits since I feel like she also helps promote that nudity is not porn :) I adore her pretty blue hair and big pink bow. She's super cute!

As for the 'feminist & proud' pin, there isn't much to say other than I love it and I'm very proud to be displaying my feminist agenda with it. I very much like how it is pink and girly, because you can definitely be girly and a feminist contrary to societal opinions, and I like the bubble-writing style of the lettering too. I am really impressed with all of the pins that I bought, both from Punky Pins and Nutmeg & Arlo. I have a mighty need to get so many of the Punky Pins products. I might be a little obsessed! Whenever I see they have a giveaway, I enter it. I never usually win anything, but my luck changed last month when I ACTUALLY WON A PUNKY PINS GIVEAWAY!! I entered a follow & retweet giveaway over on twitter for one of their fantastic Halloween pin badges and it was such a wonderful shock when I woke up and looked at my notifications. I didn't quite believe it until I opened the app and there I was tagged in a winner annoucement. Eeeeee! 

Punky Pins Halloween Cat Pin

Punky Pins Halloween Cat Pin

Look at how fabulous this pin is!? Omg! It's so bright and I adore the design so much! It's an adorable black cat (which are one of my favourite kind of kitty) hiding inside the cutest Jack-O-Lantern. I love the stars and crescent moon detailing, it reminds me of emojis. The black cats eyes are so cool, and I love how she's wearing the 'lid' of the pumpkin lantern on the top of her head. Too cute! I am still very delightfully surprised that I won! 

I am so so happy with these new additions to my pin collection, and I just want to show them off to anyone who will listen. My family have been getting pin badges shoved in their faces for a month now. My dad is certainly a little jealous of many of them because he loves pin badges too; I have lots of christmas present ideas in mind for him now though :) I hope that you all enjoyed checking out these pins. I'll have my next pin haul post up in a week or so so be sure to keep a look out if you're interested. 

Thankyou for reading! 

Do you collect pin badges? Or anything else? I'd love to hear about it in the comments! 

Also, what's your favourite pin out of the ones I've featured here today?


Monday, 6 November 2017

What I've Been Watching: October Edition

Hi guys! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. I absolutely love Bonfire Night, even though it's origins make it a little strange of a celebration but oh well, haha! It doesn't seem like Autumn is in full swing until this occassion has come and gone. I adore bonfires, all of the pretty colourful lights that fireworks create, the smell of burning wood and paper in the air and the fact that it brings people together. I had a lovely evening last night with my family, setting some fireworks off in our garden and lighting a mini bonfire. I just wish that we had gotten some marshmallows to top it all off! Anyhow, today's post is this month's installment of my 'What I've Been Watching' series. If you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll know sometimes these posts can contain little unintentional spoilers, when I'm explaining briefly what the movies or tv shows I've watched are about, but I try to keep these to a minimum. I hope that reading my post gives you some inspiration on what to include in your next binge watching session :) Enjoy! 

What I've Been Watching October

 What Happened To Monday? (2017)

I first heard about this movie in a post by the lovely Georgina over at She Might Be Loved, in her 11 Things You Need to Watch on Netflix This Month post, and it sounded like a really interesting movie so I couldn't not give it a watch when I have the Netflix app at my fingertips and I'm laying in bed at night, my insomnia refusing to let sleep happen. The movie is a sci-fi dystopian drama set in the future in a world that's overrun with people, too many people for the resources available. So in a bid to solve this problem, a one-child-per-family law is implemented. The story is centred around seven sisters (septuplets) who must avoid government detection in a system where multiple children are torn away from their parents. What will they do when one of their siblings goes missing? I'd explain more, but you should watch it and find out for yourself! I'm really into the dystopian genre, so I enjoyed this movie. There were parts that I didn't like so much, but overall it was a good watch. I'd like to read the book that it was based on, which I think is The Steven Sisters novels by Lucinda Riley. Has anyone ever read these? 

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) 

It was all about science fiction for me this October, especially with the release of Netflix's Stranger Things season 2! I watched another brilliant sci-fi movie at the start of the month. 10 Cloverfield Lane is about a woman (played by the gorgeous Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who after a car accident wakes up in a bunker with two men, who tell her that there has been a catastrophic chemical attack and that they can no longer go outside. Eventually she will discover for herself what has gone on in the world outside of the underground bunker. Usually I have a google first to read the movie outline before choosing whether or not to watch it, but for this one I just saw that it was a thriller and decided to just go straight in without a clue what to expect. It's one of those movies that you think might go one way as you watch it but then things unexpectedly change. I like being surprised like this, unless the plot changes ridiculously to something implausible. I'd give this movie a 7 out of 10. Let me know what you all think if you've watched it or decide to after reading my post :) I'm hoping that there's a sequel. 

Cardcaptor Sakura (1998-onwards)

It recently came to my attention that there was going to be a new season of Cardcaptor Sakura released in 2018 after apparently 15 years since they made the last episode. I watched quite a few episodes of 'Cardcaptor Sakura' on Cartoon Network when I was really young, and I didn't remember much about it other than that I loved it! I have been meaning to get myself up to date with all of episodes for ages now and I thought it was about time that I did, in time for the new 'Clear Card Arc' season! I'm still getting through the episodes (slowly but surely) but I thought I'd include it anyway. The Japanese anime series, created by the iconic all-female manga artist group CLAMP, is all about a ten year old girl called Sakura who stumbles upon a book filled with magical cards in the basement of her house, which she then accidently releases and thus it's up to her to find each of the cards, known as Clow Cards, to put them back! Only people with magical abilities themselves can release these cards and with the help with a mythical creature known as Kerberos (Kero for short), Sakura uses these newly-discovered 'powers' to re-capture the Clow Cards. It's a really adorable anime, and even though it's aimed at a younger audience, it's awesome and I love it, and it has a huge fanbase all over the world. People of all ages love Cardcaptor Sakura and you might to! Give it a watch and see :) 

What I've Been Watching October

 Gerald's Game (2017) 

We are seeing so many of Stephen King's novels adapted into movies this year, most famously with the new release of the IT movie, which I adore and have now watched several times! There's also a new tv series made for The Mist, and two movies released by Netflix '1922' and 'Gerald's Game'. I am yet to watch the tv show but I have seen the movies and they were fantastic. Gerald's Game was my favourite out of the two and it was one of my favourite watches of the month. I now have a mighty need to add the novel (of the same name) to my reading list, because I enjoyed the movie so much! So what's the movie about? A couple with relationship problems decide to take a break for the weekend in a remote holiday home and after experimenting with a kinky game shortly upon arrival, the main character is left handcuffed to a bed after something tragic happens to her husband. With no hope of rescue, what will become of her? Will she be able to escape? Head to Netflix to find out. What I loved about this storyline/plotline was the realistic element, it made it such a compelling movie to watch! I mean, you could actually be partaking in a similar sexually-adventurous scenario and have something like that happen to you! It has you pondering throughout, what would I actually do in that situation? I am very much into psychology and so I thoroughly enjoyed the psychology basis of the movie, with the main character experiencing visions caused by her 'near-death experience'. It's an A* from me for 'Gerald's Game'! 

The End of the F***king World (2017)

I'm not really a massive fan of comedy series or movies. Sure, there are movies that do make me very nearly PMSL but in general, I don't usually watch comedies unless they include some of my favourite actors of the genre. I love Jim Carrey, Steve Carrell and Will Ferrell to name a few, however I wouldn't choose to go watch a comedy at the cinema.  When it comes to comedy, dark humour is my preferred type and this is why I enjoy animation series like Rick & Morty so much. When I saw the advert for the new channel 4 show, The End of the F***king World, as it is a dark comedy, coming-of-age drama combination I thought I'd give it a try. It features two quirky teenagers who end up going on a trip across country filled with young romance and self discovery, with both of them getting into some tough situations. After watching the first episode I couldn't stop, even though I couldn't tell if I liked it much or not, I had to see it through until the end! Do you ever feel like that after watching something... unsure of whether you actually liked it or not? I thought the two main actors were fantastic (Alex Lawther & Jessica Barden) so I'll definitely be watching other stuff that they've starred in. But I wasn't sure about the show itself. It's certainly worth a watch if you have some time to waste, since 4oD (I can't get used to calling it All 4) put the whole series up after episode 1 was shown on TV. Anyone else watched it yet? 

Leatherface (2017)

It wouldn't feel right if I didn't watch horror movies in October with it being Halloween-time, the month for all things spooky to be celebrated! I watched quite a few movies of this incredible genre, mostly old classics that I've seen again and again, but this was my best movie of the October! I really enjoyed this latest movie in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise, which shows us the origin story behind Leatherface, the iconic horror protagonist. I always wonder about how the 'bad guys' in horror movies came to be so I really like movies like this one which give us an intepretation of where it all began. If you search on google, the description that first pops up about this movie is as follows: 'A violent teen and three others kidnap a young nurse while escaping from a Texas mental instituation. Pursued by a vengeful sheriff, the disturbed young man embarks on a murderous rampage that shapes him into a legendary killer known as Leatherface'. I am more times than not left disappointed by modern horror movies, however I was impressed with this one :) The first Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie (1974) is one of my top 10 favourite horror movies, and I thought this one was an awesome additon to the franchise!

I hope you all enjoyed reading about my top six watches of October 2017. I watched ALOT last month so it was tough to decide which to include in today's post! I started watching the STARZ series Black Sails which I've had on my to-watch list for a few years now, and also a couple of interesting documentaries, including one called 'Head Cases: Serial Killers in the Delaware Valley (2013)' which is interesting as it's a finctional, re-enactment style movie. I'd love to know if I've encouraged you to watch any of these movies/shows.

Thankyou for reading! 

What movies/tv shows have you been enjoying lately?

If you didn't catch last month's post, you can check it out here.  


Thursday, 2 November 2017

Makeup Revolution Halloween Products | Review

Hey lovelies! If you've been following my most recent posts, you may have noticed that I've been using some new makeup for the creation of my Halloween looks this year. In early October when I was browsing around for Christmas gift ideas and was on the hunt for some new darker nail polish shades, I came across the recent Halloween releases from the brand Makeup Revolution. I thought I'd give them a try, because I really like my eyeshadow palettes from the brand, and I also definitely like the price! Makeup Revolutuon is available at drugstores, like Superdrug, and has some great prices compared with other brands. This certainly doesn't mean that they are not the best quality, as I personally think that their eyeshadow is awesome and super pigmented! So anyhow, I thought I'd share a little review of the products from this new Halloween range that I picked up. I'm sad that this will be the last Halloweeny-themed post of the year for me T_T *cry cry*. 

I was really happy with all of the products that I bought! I thought that it was fantastic too that my entire haul only cost me £14. All of the items had lovely presentation and packaging. Some of them were so pretty that I almost didn't want to use them! I mean, just look at the skull on top of the powder in the photo above! Isn't it fabulous!? The products that I got include: the Ghost Powder, the SFX Spectre palette, the Ghost Lights Highlighter, and the SFX Liquid Latex. Keep reading to find out more about them :) 

Makeup Revolution Halloween Ghost Powder

Makeup Revolution Halloween Ghost Powder

Makeup Revolution Halloween Ghost Powder

First of all, how flippin' adorable is that ghost 'print'!? I really loved this little addition to the presentation! I love how pristine and bright the Ghost Powder is. There's even a little compartment to keep the application sponge in. Additionally, on the back of the case, there's mirror, so that's really handy for when you're out and about. The powder itself isn't very pigmented, and didn't show up too well on top of my base makeup like other white powders I've used in the past do, however for only £3 it made your face pale enough to create an awesome ghosty complexion. I had to re-apply it a few times but that's not too much of a problem. Having pale skin, I usually always apply a white powder over the top of my concealer and foundation, and I'll happily keep using this until I can replace my usual pressed powder by Manic Panic. 

Makeup Revolution Halloween SFX Spectre Palette

This SFX Spectre Face Paint Palette was a massive upgrade from my usual cheap face paint from the Poundstore, the kind that you can barely see and have to layer over and over again to get a decent colouration! I wasn't sure what to expect and was a little worried that it would just be like the other face paints I've tried before. However, I was pleasantly surprised by just how great this palette was! Maybe it's because I've only ever used the £1 stuff so I have nothing else to compare it to, but it was super pigmented and bold. 

I didn't know that you got eight different shades of paint so I was delighted with that! I removed the little plastic sheet that protects the paints for the photograph, but on it are the various names for each one. They are named after the special effects they help create: skin trauma, contour, bruise, fresh blood, vein, aged blood and the middle two are just listed as plain old black & white. I like how you get more black and white paint which are often used for larger areas in Halloween makeup designs, such as an entire white face or big black circles around the eyes. But I wish that you got more of the fresh and aged blood colours, since they are going to be used a lot too to create most spooky looks. 

The pigment for these face paints is so strong as it is made specifically for special effects makeup and can be applied on top of liquid latex and the wax that is needed for making gory, realistic horror makeup art. I found that it applied on top of the Makeup Revolution liquid latex so well, and I can't wait to see how it works with a more advanced look. I used the two red shades mostly when creating my Creepy Clown look (oh and a little of the light brown 'contour' paint), and I loved the difference between the two bloods. The 'aged blood' was a colour similar to crimson, almost burgundy when it dried, and the 'fresh blood' was a vibrant shade that I can only describe as cherry red. I'd very much recommend this product and I'm looking forward to using it again next Halloween!

Makeup Revolution Halloween Ghost Lights Highlighter

This Ghost Lights Highlighter powder was my favourite product of the bunch. It is a lovely shimmery pearlescent cream/white colour, and I love how shiny it looks when you tint the case. The skull on top is rised too, versus the flat ghost on the Ghost Powder, which makes it look even more eye-catching! I really considered not using it or buying another just to keep and never use it! This powder didn't know with a sponge or anything to apply it with and the case doesn't include a mirror, but it still very nice packaging nonetheless. It looks super professional, and I was certainly impressed with my first ever highlighter. 

I have been wanting to experiment with highlighter for a while but I just didn't know where to start. With this Makeup Revolution one only being £3, it was a great first product to practice with! It's not very bright but maybe this is because I didn't apply too much, I still need to have a play around with it. Although, if it turns out to not be very strong, that's okay since it will be great for everyday use then. I saw this product around on instagram a lot throughout October so it seems to be popular! Have you used it? If so, I'd love to hear what you thought of it in the comments. 

Makeup Revolution Halloween Liquid Latex

The final product that I tried was the SFX Liquid Latex, but to be honest I didn't use it to it's full potential. If you read all about my Creepy Clown makeup that I did on Monday, you'll know that I forgot to buy some wax. I wanted to create a 'Chelsea smile', a big  smiley gash across either side of my mouth, but my attempt at making my own homemade wax didn't go to plan and so I had to improvise. Therefore, I didn't use much of the liquid latex, but I still used enough to be able to let you know what my first impressions were. 

For only £2, I think you get so much product! You'd probably be able to create an entire look and still have some left over just by looking at how much liquid latex you get in the tube. I might try to find another bottle so I can stock up for next year (it's no longer available on the Superdrug website but it might still be for sale in stores). Just a tip: standard fake blood won't apply on top of the dried latex. I didn't realise this, so I should have purchased the matching Makeup Revolution SFX fake blood too. The liquid latex did it's job though; I experimented with the peeling effect as I was removing my makeup, and it looked very cool. Almost like I was tearing off my actual skin, haha! Something that I didn't like about this product is how strong the smell was, and it made my eyes water and sting a little even though I was painting it on near my mouth. I don't know if all liquid latex is like this though. Does anyone else know? I'll let you know next year anyway guys! 

Overall, I'm super happy with my Makeup Revolution halloween range haul, and I wish now that I'd also purchased some of the other makeup just to try them out. I didn't buy the 'Dark Reign' eyeshadow palette because I wasn't too impressed by the shades available. They weren't screaming Halloween makeup at me, and I have similar colours in the palettes I already own. I expected it to be filled with the colours associated with Halloween, such as bright slime green and some dark blood-red shades. I love the products I did get though, and I hope you enjoyed reading about them :) You can still buy the Ghost Powder and the Ghost Lights Highlighter on the Superdrug website by the way!

Thankyou for reading!

Have you ever tried any Makeup Revolution products?

Do you have a favourite? I love their Mermaids VS Unicorn eyeshadow! 

Enjoyed this post? Here are some of my other Halloween-related posts:
| Halloween Doki Doki Box | My Favourite Vampire Movies | Halloween Lush |

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