Money Supermarket's Inspect A Gadget - Phillips ESee HD Camcorder

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

I was recently given the fantastic opportunity to work with Money Supermarket on their Inspect a Gadget campaign. It's all about budget gadgets, focusing on those that you would use whilst on holiday. I was given a selection of gadgets, all around the £50 mark, to choose from and I went for the Phillips ESee HD Camcorder from Expansys. I decided to go with the camera as I've recently started making videos for Paperbacks And Beauty Facts and would love to film in HD, this also takes 12mp photos and my normal camera only does 10! This camcorder is on sale at £51.99 which I have to say is a great price as it's usually £99.99. I bought my current camera a few years ago for around £100 and it only takes 10mp photos and doesn't film in HD! You get free delivery which is supposed to take 3-5 days but I got next day and that's not because I was getting special treatment as a reviewer, I was given a paypal transfer and bought it as a regular customer. Big thumbs up for Expansys, had never heard of them but will go back if I need any new technology.


Onto the camcorder itself. My main beef with this camcorder is it's internal memory. I didn't really think about it when ordering the camcorder but it runs on a micro SD card, most cameras and laptops deal with standard SD cards so it just makes things a little bit awkward. When this came in the post I was really excited to get it out and film straight away but it's internal memory only hosts 14 seconds of video which is pretty poor. I had to order a micro SD card specifically to use with this. I found this Kingston one on Amazon for under £6 so it wasn't exactly breaking the bank but I would have preferred if the camcorder came with better memory or an SD card slot. This one is 8GB and you can film for two hours or take around 2000 photos. The camera itself is really great. One of my favourite things about this is that it automatically turns on and off when you lift the viewfinder. This means that if something spontaneous happens and you want to film it you can do so really quickly. It also starts recording or takes the photo straight away when you press the button. I don't know how many times I've ruined a photo because of something moving! The view finder is a 3 inch LCD touch screen. The screen is easy to navigate to change the settings. This has a range of shooting modes, from auto to sunset, and can shoot in black and white etc. The image and film quality is great. If you'd like to see some footage shot with this then you can check out this week's Paperbacks And Beauty Facts video. I'm super pleased with this.


As for connecting to a pc, this comes with an attached USB stick which pops out at the push of the button. At first I though this was a good idea and it looks really cute. But when I tried to plug it in it felt really fragile and I was scared I was going to snap it off. I'd prefer a cable. In future I think I'll just put the micro SD card into the adaptor and transfer my videos and pictures that way.


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Review and Giveaway: Pai Skincare Samples

Friday, 24 May 2013
I've heard a few bloggers talking about Pai skincare before, especially during the #bbloggers chats on twitter, but I'd always thought they were a bit expensive considering you can't try before you buy if you're ordering online. Then I saw a post on Annabel's blog about the samples you can buy.


Turns out you can try before you buy! They sell a pack of 6 samples for £5 with free delivery and a free muslin cloth. I think that's a pretty good price! One thing about this is that the majority of the samples are moisturisers, I'd rather see less moisturisers and a wider range of products, maybe an eye cream?

Macadmaia & rose, avocado & jojoba and chamomile & rosehip skin creams: I'm going to group these all together for my review as I feel these all had similar effects for my skin. These are pretty much targeted at dry skins, they're very heavy. My skin is very oily so they weren't really the products for me. Despite not being suited for my skin they didn't make it go crazy which is a plus. They also smelt very nice and had a rather luxurious feel to them. These lasted me a week each.

Geranium & thistle skin cream: this is targeted for combination skin and therefore is much more up my street. This sunk into my skin really well and left it feeling very smooth. It also smelt really nice, I wasn't really expecting to after finding out it contains thistles although I'm not too sure what make me make this resumption. I really liked using this but it didn't wow me. This is £24 and I didn't think it did anything that cheaper moisturisers don't so I probably won't purchase the full size. This sample lasted me a week just like the other skin creams.

Camelia & rose gentle hydrating cleanser: this is a hot cloth cleanser than you use with the accompanying muslin cloth. I thought this was a very nice cleanser and it smelt very strongly of roses, which I for one like. This felt a lot nicer than my No7 hot cloth cleanser but it is £25 for 100ml or £35 for 200ml so I probably won't be repurchasing. I got 3 cleanses out of the sample.

Kukui & jojoba bead skin brightening exfoliator: this was my favourite product out of all of the samples. This smelt so refreshing, just like lemon sherbet. I want to buy the full size for the smell! This is one of the best exfoliators I've ever used, the beads in it are perfect. This is £20 at a full size but I'm seriously considering buying it. I got 3 uses out of this sample.


Now onto the giveaway part. I got two, thinking that a 5ml sample of each product wouldn't be enough for me to judge how much I liked it. I was wrong! So I'm going to give away one set and the accompanying  muslin cloth. This will be a UK only giveaway. a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Lee Stafford Hair Growth Treatment: Wonder Product Or Load Of Bullshit?

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

When I was 13 I made the rather bold(and stupid) decision to get a pixie crop, I went from below the jawline to above the ears in the space of one hair cut. And you know what? I hated it. And since then I've been growing my hair as long as possible. Just after I got my hair cut I started looking up tips on how to make your hair grow faster: exercise more, keep it in good condition, wash off conditioner in cold water. The list goes on and on. If only my 13 year old self had known about this.

The Lee Stafford  Treatment For Hair That Never Grows Past A Certain Length(I'm only going to type that once!) is a hair mask that claims to make your hair grow faster. I don't necessarily think that this causes exponential hair growth but it does seriously improve the condition of your hair, which in turn will make it grow faster. Normally with hair masks I use them maybe once or twice a week  instead of a usual conditioner but this one instructs you to use it between shampooing and conditioning. I was a little bit nervous about this as I thought it would make my hair greasy and difficult to work with but my hair felt fine afterwards. This makes my hair feel really nice and reduces the frizz. My hair isn't very damaged because I don't dye/straighten it often but I can imagine It would really improve the condition of quite damaged hair. My only real beef with this is the smell, it's not horrid but it's a bit strange. It smells rather chemically. But as you use a different conditioner afterwords this scent doesn't stick to your hair so I guess that's not a huge problem.

But just how much did it make your hair grow? I'd probably say that this make my hair grow about two inches but it's hard to tell exactly. I think that's pretty good considering I only started using this in February  Please bear in mind that my hair is naturally curly so this is probably a bit longer in terms of straight/wet hair. I'm not too sure how much my hair would have growth without this but I like to think it's helped. Plus my hair was pretty long to begin with, a girl I go to school with posted a photoo on Facebook saying that it had made hers grow lots. If you have shorter hair I think this would work better for you. In the end it's only £7.99 which isn't bad for a hair mask and you can buy it from Boots. It's not exactly going to break the bank, especially when you compare it to high end/Lush prices, give it a go and see how well it works for you. There are a few hair masks I want to try out first but I will definitely be repurchasing this!


Did you like the idea of this post? I'm thinking about making a 'wonder product or load of bullshit' series, let me know what you think about that! 

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Review: Soap & Glory's The Righteous Butter

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Up until a couple of weeks ago I'd only really used The Body Shop's body butters. I'd always been able to get them on sale for a decent price and I liked the quality of them. A friend of mine purchased me Soap & Glory's The Righteous Butter for my birthday and I'd decided I'd wait until I'd used up all my other body butters before I started using this. 


I could tell from the first use that I loved this even more than the Body Shop ones. I have really dry skin, if I go two to three days without moisturising then my skin feels really rough and it gives me such strong urges to scratch. But this is such a thick and moisturising butter. I've found that this extends the amount of time I can go without moisturising  because lets face it, we all have mornings/nights where we come out the shower and just can't be bothered. If I apply too much then this does make my skin feel a little bit greasy but now I've found the 'perfect' amount for it to sink in and leave me feeling really smooth. It also spreads really well so you don't have to use too much, this 300ml tub is going to last me ages! This has Soap & Glory's signature 'pink' scent, which I find so hard to describe, it's very sweet yet not over powering. I love this scent. This product retails for £10.50 which is pretty steep but you get 300ml of product when most body butters are only 200ml. Plus these are sold in Boots and are almost always on some sort of 3 for 2 offer, they are just now! This is Soap & Glory's most sold product and I can see why, thoroughly recommend.


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Square Eyes

Monday, 20 May 2013

As a little something different for you all today I though I'd talk about my favourite tv shows. Now as a rule, I never watch tv on tv! I'm the sort of person that gets hooked on a tv show and then watches all of the seasons back to back on the internet in an embarrassingly short amount of time. Please tell me you all do this too?



NCIS is the show that I've been watching for the longest out of all of these. I actually started watching this on recommendation from my granny and what can I say the lady's got good taste! This show is about an investigative team that look at crimes related to the navy/marines and those that work for them. I think it's the characters in this that really make it for me. I love Abby, think McGee is a bit of a nerdy hottie and Gibbs is just such a strong father figure for the whole team. Between me and my gran, we have every season on dvd.

The next tv show I really fell in love with was Grey's Anatomy, a girl in one of my classes lent me the first few seasons on tv and I think I watched the first season in two days(this isn't as bad as it's a very short season!). Grey's Anatomy follows a group of surgical interns, it's weird watching the earlier seasons as they're all proper doctors now. This show has a tendency to make me cry, and I'm not a crier! Especially on the season finales this show has some terrible cliff hangers!

House MD is my boyfriend's favourite tv show and we started watching it together a few months ago. We've just finished season 6 and I'm really enjoying it. It's about a diagnostic team of doctors headed by the infamously witty House. I love Haugh Laurie's, the actor who plays House, acting. House is just such an interesting character!

Castle is a police detective show with a twist. The main character Castle is a writer who is friends with the mayor, and has managed to bag himself a spot shadowing the NYPD. This show is really funny, I'd say it's just as much of a comedy show as it is a cop show. And there are two couples in this that I 'ship' so badly!

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Book Review: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Sunday, 19 May 2013

You've probably heard of Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro before, the book is quite popular and it's also been made into a movie. This book is set in a futuristic Britain, where people are 'bred' to be organ donors. It follows the life of Kathy, one of the donors, through her life. She is now in her thirties and is working as a carer, looking after those who go through the donation process before her turn and she reminisces on her life. All the donors are brought up at a boarding school and they aren't made aware of the whole thing until they are older. I didn't really enjoy this book if I'm honest. I feel like the plot is good and that it had the potential to be a lot better than it was. It took a long time to actually develop. If I'm reading a book that's set in a dystopian style world, then I like everything to be explained quite early on in the book so that I know what's going on. It took about 100 pages for everything to come to light and by then I'd pretty much lost interest. I was talking to Mia about it and she said she liked this because she felt it was a similar feeling to how the teenagers felt in the book when they knew something was up but didn't know what it was exactly. Which I think is a pretty good point but this book just didn't appeal to me personally. All in all this book was ok. I don't regret reading it but at the same time I probably wouldn't read it again.

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Week In Photos #43

Sunday, 12 May 2013
Hummingbird cake / Watching NCIS with my gran
Wagamama / #samstagram

Not much has really happened lately. My study leave has started so at the moment I'm basically just studying  and blogging. My first exam is on Wednesday. It's human biology which is my 'easy subject' so I'm not too nervous about it. At the moment my attitude towards exams is just 'bring it'. I want to get them over and done with as soon as possible! I went to an 18th last night which was pretty good fun. Nice little break.

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Recipe Post - Hummingbird Cake

Friday, 10 May 2013

This recipe is from the Martha Stewart website, but it's just so good I had to share it with you all! I'm a massive fan of banana bread and when I saw this recipe for a cake that's similar with pineapple AND pecan nuts? I knew I'd love it. But you have to eat this pretty quick or it turns into a soggy mess.


 Cake Ingredients:
-3 cups of SR flour
-2 cups of sugar
-3/4 cup of vegetable oil
-1/2 cup chopped pecan nuts
-2 very large and ripe bananas, mashed
-8oz can of crushed pineapple with juice
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 tsp cinnamon
-4 large ingredients

Frosting Ingredients:
-16oz of icing sugar
-8oz cream cheese
-3oz unsalted butter
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1tbsp milk
-chopped pecans to decorate


Method:
1. Set oven to Gas Mark 3.
2. Stir all cake ingredients to combine, no need to use an electric whisk a wooden spoon is enough.
3. Grease 2 large cake tins or 3 smaller ones. Distribute batter evenly throughout them.
4. Cook for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer poked into the middle of the cake comes away clean.
5. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
6. Combine all frosting ingredients with an electric whisk when your cakes are cold.
7.  Even spread frosting over one of the cakes, then place the other on top and cover completely.
8. Sprinkle the pecan nuts over the top.
9. Cut up and enjoy.


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April Favourites

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Aussie Miracle Hair Insurance Leave In Conditioner - I'm a massive fan of the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle and I'm so glad I decided to try this. You spray it into wet hair and comb it through and it just makes your hair feel amazing. This has the same lovely sweet/minty scent that the 3 Minute Miracle has and it makes my hair feel really smooth. It also helps bring out the natural curl in my hair. Love it.

Wet n Wild Trio in Walking On Eggshells - I don't know where you can get a hold of Wet n Wild products in the UK, I won this in a giveaway but if you get the chance to try these then grab it with both hands. The shadows in these trios are of amazing quality, the pigmentation is so impressive. The combo of colours here makes the perfect neutral eye and I love that they are so compact and don't take up too much space in my make up drawer.

Sarah Jessica Parker NYC Perfume - Ok this is possibly the most tackiest bottle of perfume. Ever. But the perfume itself totally makes up for that. This is so sweet and feminine, I absolutely love it and my boyfriend's even commented on how much he loves it. Perfect summer perfume.

Colours And Carousels has been one of my favourite blogs for a while. But this month I actually met Charlotte for the first time, she is such a lovely girl! You should really check out her blog. She has a great combination of posts, a mix of beauty, fashion and occasionally some lifestyle posts. He photography is amazing and I'm so jealous of her style.




Little Paper Swans is possibly my favourite food blog. Everytime Catheryn posts it makes me water at the mouth. If I could kidnap her and force her to bake for me all the time, I totally would. I've chatted to her quite a bit on Twitter and she's so lovely. Please go check out her blog! She also does lovely outfit posts.

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Hello, I Is Sam

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Hello, I is Sam. I is a chocolate Labrador. I is a ten months old. I is also commonly referred to as Numb Nuts and Halfwit. I does not understand this so much though. I has been living with Hayley and her family since Easter Sunday. I is from Preston. I lived with Charlotte and Dan, who were very nice people. But they worked very long days and I lived in the garage. When Charlotte got pregnant I find out I is going to live with someone new. I travelled all the way from Preston to Windermere where I got picked up by Gillian and John(Hayley's mum and stepdad) in their big purple car and then came to Scotland. All in the one day. So I was in the kitchen with John and then Hayley and her sister Abbey came in and they was like 'Who's is he?' and Gillian was like 'yours' and then they started crying and I was like 'what is going on play with me this is all exciting and new'. Anyways fledjbsjlvbdbfdjbcv oh sorry about that. I got excited because someone rang the front door bell and my paw slipped. I is unable to delete this because I am only a dog and I is still getting used to this keyboard thing. So I is a member of the household for over a month now and I is enjoying it very much. I has been going on lots of walks every day down the 'burn' which is what these crazy people in Scotland call a river. Still getting used to their weird words, only understand so much as a dog you see. I gets lots of treats and Hayley's sister is training me to jump over poles in the garden, only do it for the treats. At first I used to pull lots on the lead because in Preston I no get walked so much, but now as I am beginning to realise I will get walked lots I is getting better. Also other people sometimes let me run with their dogs and that is fun. Although sometimes if it is a lady dog I get too excited, who can blame me? I have a special soft spot for Molly, another chocolate lab. She is four years old but what can I say, I likez an older woman. Fortunately it appears that  my balls are safe. I hears people talking about me and they say 'fifth generation pedigree' and 'think of the stud free'. I no understand as I is dog but from what I can tell I is safe for now. I is very good at helping out. I have completely remodeled garden. Who liked all those plants anyway? Not me. Much nice with everything dug up I says. Especially that tree, it was begging to be bitten down. I also like to play tug a war with toys and I like to chew bottles and sticks. I also like to play 'lets try and get in the bin game' that is a very fun game. Also like to run upstairs and see how many socks I can steal before I get taken back down stairs. Anyways I has to being going now. Sticks to chew, things to sniff. I lead a busy life you know! Can't spend all my times on this laptop thing. If Hayley sees this she might be annoyed at me, may have left some saliva on laptop when I was investigatings scents. YOLO.




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