Products I've Been Loving Recently

Saturday, 30 July 2016
When Water Painted Dreams was started (4.5 years ago - wow) it was primarily a beauty blog. But as I've changed my blog has changed with me and I very rarely post about beauty products anymore. Not that I don't use them (although I rarely wear make up these days) but because I've found my favourites and don't really feel the need to branch out. Every now and then though, I do purchase something new. I thought I'd write a little post about some of the products I've been loving recently as I do kinda miss writing about products from time to time. To the best of my knowledge all of these products are not tested on animals and vegan suitable! Also the most expensive thing here is £15.50 so none of these will break the bank.

The Library Of Fragrance Orange Blossom - I received this as a Christmas present but now it's a staple in my summer fragrances. This isn't the typical orange scent with it being the blossom and not the fruit. It's much muskier which I like in a fragrance and I really love it. It's not the strongest so I do feel I need to reapply it halfway during the say but it's also not the most expensive perfume so I don't mind about having to do that. I also received the peach one at the same time and I loved it so much that I've already used it all up. These are £15 each but almost always on a two for £25 offer in Boots. Once I've finished this I think I'll get some more. Got my eye on fresh laundry. Let me know if you've tried any and what scents you like.


5 Reasons Why You Should Be Shopping At Lush

Wednesday, 27 July 2016
Recently, I headed along to a blogger's event hosted by the Lush store in my hometown - Lush Livingston. I attended an event there last summer about perfume (full post here) and I was really excited to return as we had such a great time at the last event. This time around we learned about lots of interesting stuff. We were treated to little massages whilst learning about the Lush spa, made our own face masks, had an emotional brilliance reading and learnt all about their naked (packing-less) products. The staff paid so much attention to detail. Even giving us little treats to go alongside the scented products.

Whilst I had a great time at the event it also really reminded me of why I love Lush as a company. So that's why instead of doing the normal 'here's what we did' event blog post I'm going to write about why I love Lush and 5 reasons why you should be shopping at Lush if you aren't already. As Maya Angelou said: 'people will never forget how you made them feel' and the Lush event made me feel so proud of what Lush are doing as a company and reminded me why I sing their praises. I learnt a lot of interesting things about Lush at this event and here they are:

Lush have always been against animal testing and they really mean it.

I went cruelty free around 3 years ago and whilst it's incredibly satisfying it's also sometimes really difficult when you see the perfect product that you've been looking for and realise the brand that's making it test their product on animals. Lush were really active in making sure that products cannot be tested within Europe. But that doesn't mean that they can't be tested elsewhere. Companies selling their products in China have to pay a fee to have their products tested there. Unfortunately, this makes the majority of popular UK brands off limits to people who wish to remain cruelty free in their beauty products.

However, Lush is one brand that I feel I can totally trust to be cruelty free and to be honest about where the ingredients in their products come from. I know that if I'm looking for a cruelty free alternative then I'm likely to be able to find it in Lush. And with the addition of new ranges quite frequently - I  can't wait to see what they think of next. 


Badger & Co Edinburgh

Sunday, 24 July 2016
Nestled away on Castle Street lies Badger & Co: a Wind & The Willows themed restaurant/bar. The restaurant serves traditional English-country-kitchen style food and I was lucky enough to be invited down to review their lunch time menu. During the week a set menu is offered from 12pm to 3pm at two courses for £10 or three for £13. We visited at 1pm on a Saturday so we had our choice of the full menu. When we arrived the restaurant was busy but not full and we were shown to our seat, near a big window so lots of natural lighting - perfect for food photos!

As I previously said, the restaurant has a Wind & The Willows theme due to the restaurant's location actually being the author's old home. The restaurant has lots of animal paintings on the walls and even a few mounted heads. The taxidermies were decorated with hats, glasses etc which added a certain hipster vibe to the place. The atmosphere was lovely and my flatmate, Rebecca, and I were really impressed from the moment we arrived. 


Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60 Review

Thursday, 21 July 2016
Whilst I love my DSLR, it's not the most practical camera if you want to take it out and about with you. It takes amazing blog photos but when you're travelling, or trying to take restaurant photos without looking like a massive weirdo it's just heavy and I felt like lugging it around was becoming a chore. I'd decided that I wanted a smaller camera that still took high quality photos. My iPhone 6 worked as a nice substitute but with an 8mp camera there was still a lot of room for improvement. After doing a bit of research I discovered that what I was looking for was a digital compact camera. Luckily for me I've had the opportunity to collaborate with John Lewis who have an amazing range of cameras. I settled on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60* because it had a lot of features that I was interested in. Any photos in this post of the camera itself are taken with my Nikon D3100. Any other photos are taken by the camera itself. 


US Crochet vs UK Crochet Cheat Sheet

Monday, 18 July 2016
One thing that I've wanted to introduce into my blog is more crochet related content. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll already know that I'm a keen crocheter. But I don't really feel like my blog reflects that. One of the first things that I'm bringing in is this cheat sheet/printable to help you differentiate between US and UK crochet terms. If you're learning to crochet then you'll probably have noticed that they're different - which can be really confusing to a beginner! 

When starting a new pattern the easiest way to save yourself any confusion it to check to see if it specifies. Most patterns will state this either at the beginning or right at the end of the pattern. If you're using a physical crochet book, check where it was published. Over time, it becomes easier to spot the difference. Now I can generally tell just by looking at a crocheted item whether it's UK or US based. Despite being Scottish, I actually find the US crochet terms more simple. They make more sense in my head (where is the single crochet in UK crochet?) and because I taught myself online, most of the resources I was using were US based. 

Why I Didn't Love New York City

Friday, 15 July 2016
Like most people, I’d always dreamed of going to New York. So when I booked a few days there at the beginning of the year I was ecstatic. 

I arrived at 11am on a Friday afternoon and the day was pretty busy from the get go. The whole day I couldn’t help but have this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that I just couldn’t quite shake. It wasn’t until I was waiting in a queue, alone, for the Empire State Building that I realised what it was: I was in New York and I wasn’t enjoying it. 

New York is always made out to be such a big deal everywhere. In movies etc it is portrayed as the best place on earth. It had been a dream for so long that I hadn’t even considered that I wouldn’t enjoy myself. I would spend my days eating amazing food, wandering happily between skyscrapers, looking fashionable and having a blast. 



There are a few things that I think contributed to why I didn’t fall madly in love with New York and I’m going to try and explain those.


Going Brunette & A Catch Up

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

My blog's been very exciting recently. With lots of travel posts from my North American adventure. Buuuut it's been over a month since I got home(how?!) so I guess it's time to write a little update about what I've been up to. One of the most obvious changes is that I've dyed my hair. I'd been dying my hair red for almost two years. And whilst I love it, it just wasn't worth the effort. The upkeep on the roots etc was just a lot of work and the colour faded so quickly. My hair is naturally a dark brown so I've put a dark brown dye over the top, hoping that eventually I can stop dying my hair all together. So far I'm loving having darker hair again - I just think it looks so much healthier! The red is beginning to show through again but hopefully after a few months that it will sort itself out. I'm also maybe going to cut a few inches off my hair. That is if I can get an appointment. My mum's a hairdresser but she's so busy I have to make an appointment with her to get my own hair done!

But what else have I been up to?

New York City Travel Diary Part 2

Saturday, 9 July 2016

If you haven't already read part 1 of my NYC Travel Diary then you can read it here.

When it reached 4pm on the Saturday it was time for my cruise so I headed back to Circle Line. I was booked onto the Landmark Cruise which takes an hour and a half and loops around lower Manhattan. It passes the Statue of Liberty (which I was visiting the next day) and passes under the Brooklyn Bridge. This was the highlight of my time in New York! I've always loved boats and seeing a city from the water is one of my favourite things to do. Especially as it was so hot it was lovely to get out of the sun for a bit and catch a bit of the breeze. The tour guide was really great at pointing out everything and telling little back stories. 

After I finished the tour I made my way over to the Museum of Sex. Honestly it was a bit of let down compared to the Amsterdam equivalent. I got in for free with the New York Pass but I wouldn't pay for it. It's very small and I personally don't think that anything was particularly shocking or unique. There was nothing that you couldn't see anywhere else. There is a room full of inflatable boobs that would have made a good photo but you have to pay extra to get in and only 2 people are allowed in at once so I wouldn't have had anyone to take a photo!

For dinner I grabbed a quick bite to eat at Chipotle which was right over the road. I think I caught it at a bad time as it was getting late and the food was quite cold. Generally I wasn't very impressed but it was cheap, filling and I just really needed a sit down. I then walked down to see the Flat Iron Building. I've not included any photos as it was pretty dark by this point! Even though I wasn't planning to go to Top of the Rock that night I walked up to the Rockefeller Centre and booked a time slot to do it the next day. After such a busy day my feet were so sore and I was so happy when I got back up to the Upper West Side and could totally crash!


New York City Travel Diary Part 1

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

It's finally time for me to write about my time in New York - the last city on my trip. It feels a little surreal to be saying that because I've dreamed about visiting New York for years. Strange to say I've actually been and seen it all!

I got up really early to get the bus from Boston (I actually didn't hear my alarm over a fan so big thanks to Leda for waking me up so I didn't miss the bus and to her mom for getting us Dunkin' donuts for breakfast xoxoxo) and arrived in New York at 11am. My friend who I was staying with wasn't able to meet me but thankfully his very kind friend came and met me off the bus and chummed me up to his flat so that I didn't get lost. I had a big suitcase and had to take the subway so I'm really glad I didn't have to do that by myself. 

June Reading Wrap Up

Sunday, 3 July 2016
This month I managed to read 3 books. Normally I would be disappointed with this as I am a fast reader and can easily read 2+ books a week in the summer. However, I have been really busy this month so I'm trying not to get myself too down about it. I was jetlagged for the majority of the first week and then since I started working again I've been doing a lot of overtime. Hopefully I'll read more in July as it will be a bit quieter and my lunch breaks are actually really good reading time for me. Plus I really enjoyed the books I read this month which really motivates me to read more next month.

Soundless by Richelle Mead - This is a YA fantasy novel about a village in China in which everyone is deaf. The village is in an isolated mountain area that's dangerous to travel to. The village survives on food that they receive on a zip line in exchange for precious metals mined from the mountains. The miners in the village are very poor and work long hours in dangerous conditions but the central character works as an artist's apprentice, painting the records of the village. However, people are starting to loose their sight as well and the food coming up the zipline is decreasing in quantity. One night Fei is woken up by a strange sensation she doesn't understand. Sound. And it changes everything.  For a while I've kind of felt like I've been outgrowing YA fiction but I still really enjoyed this book. It was a really unique plot and I haven't read a lot of books set in China/based on Chinese folklore so it was really refreshing and fun. Despite being a really short book things felt well explained and it really works. This is also a stand alone. It seems like a lot of books are pointlessly made into series at the moment so it's nice to see a book that's just intended to be completely told in the one book. I gave it 4/5 stars and I'm really glad I read it.