Eugene's Pawsome Box


Eugene (who needs a bath in these photos!--spoiler alert--her got one later that day) is one lucky little pooch. Being a blogger's dog, he gets lots of freebies. And this time, his treats came from Pawsome (who can get a FREE Pawsome box to trial--click here!).


The post came addressed to myself AND Eugene (look how good I am at erasing our address!). That made us extremely excited to get our paws on what was inside the box.

It's almost like Christmas (for Euge) in there! Let's break it down:






I think this is my favorite product out of the whole lot. Look, it folds out into a travel bowl!!!

Perfect for a day out with the pup.

Euge testing the Mutt & Jeff treats. He's been on a special salmon and potato diet as per his vet's request for the last few weeks, so I decided to bend the rules today since he got his special presents in the post. "Is this really mine?"

Now that Eugene is 8, his playfulness has sadly decreased quite a bit and his love of soft toys has diminished. However, he still can't resist finding their squeakers and having a short lived game of tug-of-war. "Think fast, mom! It's mine!"

Euge says, "Thank you for reading, now I think I'm due for a bath to scrub my face up a bit!"


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Dealing with Acne Over Age 25


After you turn about 25 or so, you start to turn your attention preventing wrinkles. However, if you're anything like me, a moisturizer just doesn't cut it because it actually makes you break out. What an awkward age we're at when we've got to worry about wrinkles AND acne.

Acne Prevention
 I've talked about my skincare routine quite in depth before, and you can watch a video on my morning routine here and my night routine here.

However, I'll just quickly go over the products I tend to use, as I'm finding myself following a routine at night less and less. I find I don't really need a huge acne routine to keep it at bay, but following one does help.

Typically, in the shower, I use (in this order):

1) Lush Dark Angels Cleanser. It retails for £6.75 for 100grams and is a solid investment. I was using the coalface before, which is basically the same thing, but I found it was making a mess in the shower and when I travelled. Therefore, this one is a lot better and a lot less messy. It really controls grease and keeps acne from popping up.

2) Forever Living's Aloe Face Scrub. This product retails for £13.44, but is worth every penny (in my opinion). I was using the Lush Ocean Salt, but the grains in this scrub are a bit finer and leave your face feeling amazingly soft. It also helps with facial itching, if you're having that issue.

3) Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Daily Scrub. This product retails for £4.69 and has been a staple since I was a teen. This is the only one on the list really purposed to control acne, and it does a great job doing so. I just scrub my face with this a little every day.

4) Clean and Clear Deep Cleansing Lotion with a retail of £3.10, this astringent is not too powerful, but just powerful enough to curb breakouts. I use this after my shower and at night before bed.

Wrinkle Prevention
So, this one is the tricky part. A few years ago, I started using moisturizer on my forehead where my face tends to get dehydrated. It lessened dehydration wrinkles, but set off a spark of zits. I steered clear of moisturizers for a while after that. I was sent some nice moisturizer by a company to review not too long ago and thought maybe I had grown out of the moisturizer quandary. Turns out, even the best moisturizer breaks me out. So how do I hydrate my skin and keep it young? Well, genes, of course, but other than that....

I use the Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray, which tends to deal really well with thirsty skin. It is a bit on the pricey side at £22, but I feel like it is worth it and a great way to prevent all around wrinkles. Clinique also does a moisturizing CC cream, but I haven't tried it, so I can't tell you if it works well or not. 

There aren't really any dupes, as most people tend to swear by it. However, if £22 will break the bank for you (it is expensive!), you can try The Body Shop's Vitamin E mist (which retails for £9.50). Those in the States can also try Evian's Mineral Water Spray, which is about half the price of the Clinique version.

 


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Zoella Beauty Tutti Fruitti Range Review Video


Well, I've gone and made a YouTube video. My honest thoughts on the new Zoella Beauty Range (this time without the comments from the peanut gallery...though I did get one guy tell me when I talked I sounded like a ventriloquist dummy on another video...so pardon for that...)





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5 Mistakes You Are Making On Your Blog


If you're wondering how to boost traffic and keep readers engaged, here are some tips I've picked up along the way:

1) Writing about things no one cares about
Okay, this may be a bit harsh, but if you're trying to run a blog as part of a business, you need to be aware when you are doing this. A post here and there about how proud you are of your kids or what you did today is fine. Personal essays about either of those things are also great if you're able to hook in the reader and people find themselves relating in some way. Otherwise, unless you're writing a blog just to keep up with family and friends far away, most people aren't super interested in every little thing going on in your life. Posts that bring in the most traffic are either about products or you being helpful to others.

2) Big paragraphs 
This can be a bit tricky, especially when you're writing personal essay type stuff. However, it is a good idea to try and narrow down your paragraphs to three to five sentences and use bold headings during a long blog post. I'm definitely guilty of not doing this, and I know it has turned readers off.

3) Not using a photo 
Not using a photo is a huge mistake. A lot of traffic on blogs comes from Bloglovin' and Stumbleupon where there is a preview of your main photo. Think about it, would you be tempted to click anything on those websites without a photo? Even if it is a stock picture, there is no reason why one shouldn't be included. You can go here and here for two great compilations of pictures you can use free of charge if you don't have a personal one to go with your post. Stokpic is also fabulous and one of my favorites.

4)  Using a default blogger/wordpress theme
This just looks bad and unprofessional and makes it difficult for people to take your blog seriously. You don't need something super fancy, but even shelling out just £20 for a premade template can make all of the difference. Check out some great premade template sites:

Social and Chic
Envye
Designer Blogs
Pip Dig
and doing a search on Etsy for premade templates


5) No social media interaction
If you're not interacting with your audience, you may as well not have a blog. You need to set up a Facebook, Twitter and Bloglovin' AT LEAST so that your audience can follow you and you can interact. Instagram and Pinterest, I think, are a little bit less important, but are nonetheless an important aspect of your blog.

What do you think is the most important for creating a blog people keep coming back to?



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Darryl Waldrup 1982-2015


Darryl Waldrup 1982-2015

This past week, my in-laws were struck with some horrible news. My sister-in-law's brother, Darryl, was killed in a motorcycle accident while on his way home from work. Evidently, a deer jumped out in front of his vehicle, which caused the fatal accident. Although he was wearing it helmet, it flew off during the impact. Thankfully, no one else was involved, but sadly Darryl passed away at just 32. He leaves behind his mother, sister (my brother's wife), his wife of only just over one year and four step-children that he loved as his own. 

Unfortunately, Darryl didn't have medical insurance and his widow is left with a huge medical bill. In lieu of flowers (Darryl wasn't a flowers kind of guy!), his family is asking for any donations to help with costs incurred. I usually have a policy on my blog against sharing GoFundMe type things unless I can verify their validity, and I can 100% verify this one. 

If you have some spare change, any little bit would help alleviate the financial burden Cynthia (his widow) has to bear, in addition to the shock of losing her husband after only a year of marriage. If not, that's okay too and any kind words, prayers, good vibes, good juju, whatever it is you believe, to his family and friends would be very much appreciated at the moment. 


Remember, life is short and precious and we aren't ever promised tomorrow. We all know that, but these tragedies remind us. Tell your loved ones that you love them today and everyday.

xxxx



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SheInside.com Dresses & Mini Review

 



About a year ago, I reviewed SheInside.com and it wasn't too flattering. Although the shipping was fast, the dress I received was far too small, unlined and felt extremely cheap. However, they keep coming up on blogs, so I decided to give them a go again, this time armed with knowledge of buying two sizes up. SheInside also has a spot where users can upload pictures of themselves in the clothing, making it easy to figure out how they might look on you and how other people have found the clothing. So I ordered two pieces...and this time I was actually pretty happy!

Keep in mind that the clothing IS made in China, which can mean lower quality and long shipping times. Also keep in mind my negative experience in the past, meaning that you it is very hit or miss. I also can't vouch for the ethics of the company and if they employ child labor or other exploitative schemes.

But, onto the purchases (and me looking like I'm ready to punch someone in the face?).

The first piece is called the Black White Striped Three Quarter Length Sleeve Stripe Dress which retails for a mere £15.




(a little unfocused)

Overall, I'm pretty satisfied with this dress, even though it isn't actually three quarter length. The top of the dress is also a bit like a leotard material, so I'm not super jazzed about that, but it is a great little outfit for going out. The material for the skirt feels a lot nicer and I was much happier with that. At £15, you can't really go wrong! (And I look incredibly mood and pouty! haha)

The next dress is £15.86 and called the Purple Long Sleeve Floral Print Dress.




This dress has gotten me a ton of compliments, even though it may be a bit short for work. The material itself doesn't feel particularly durable and is a bit cheap if I'm honest, but you'll definitely get some wear out of it.

Shoes and jewellery:
Pink shoes: Jessica Simpson Mandalaye


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$175 to Kate Spade Giveaway!

Oh look! Another giveaway. This one ends in a couple of days, so don't miss out!

With the summer heating up, so should your wardrobe! I've teamed up with some lovely ladies to give you a chance to win $175 to Kate Spade. Enter in the rafflecopter below!




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Ant-Man's Antsibition

Ant-Man came to life in theatres across the UK this past Friday, but I was fortunate enough to see him come alive in a completely new (and very tiny!) way.


I will be frank when I tell you that my 600D without a specialty lens isn't really cut out for the kind of pictures this exhibition required, which means that I am not particularly happy with how they turned out. Couple that with a very bad day plus a very tiny space in which several people are trying to take pictures and it just didn't turn out like I'd hoped. But such is life!

At any rate, you can find the Antsibition buried in the Old Street tube station in London. (When you exit the tube, just turn right and right again and you'll see it on your right next to a stunning little underground flower market).

From the outside, it looks like your 10th grade biology class, but once you step inside, you're transported into art by mico artist Willard Wigan.




You have to look through the microscope to see what's underneath, many of the scenes in the eye of a needle. Here are pictures other people took of a couple of the pieces on display:


Evolution copyright A Timely Perspective.


The Last Supper copyright A Timely Perspective.


This one wasn't on display, but as an Alice devotee, I couldn't resist including it.

I read that Wigan often uses the beat of his heart to help him chisel the tiny pieces to perfection and goes into a trance like state. I mean...that is amazing. You can find more about Wigan here.

Of course, he made a special piece for Ant Man, but you'll just have to see it!




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July Giveaway! Win a Benefit Beyond Bronze Kit or a free eBook by Fia Essen!


This giveaway is hosted by Anna, Llinos, Fia and Rachel.


Win one of these three fabulous prizes:

1) Benefit's Beyond Bronze kit for complexion, lips and eyes. This kit features everything you need to get your summer glow on including minis of Benefit's famous Hoola bronzer, Dew the Hoola liquid bronze, Benebalm hydrating tinted lip balm, They're Real! mascara and Hoola Ultra Plush lip gloss.

2) An eCopy of Anna by Fia Essen:
Synopsis: Radical life changes and too much champagne at a high altitude can take a girl to the most interesting places. Anna's journey is just getting starting when she takes a chance on a new friendship of the handsome male variety and winds up in a tiny village in Crete. It turns out, she's not the only one who has that idea.

3) An eCopy of Ariel by Fia Essen:
Synopsis: Ariel Morton's life was perfect...until it wasn't. Now she's stuck in a rut. At the age of thirty-four, she has a dead-end job, a rented hovel of a home and a rising stack of unpaid bills to keep her company.

Just when Ariel is starting to fear she'll never get her life back on track, she is contacted by the mysterious Muse Agency. Suddenly, she is forced to question everything she thought she knew about herself and everyone around her.

Who is Ariel? And what does she want? The truth is she can't answer those questions. And finding those answers is the only way out of her rut.







This giveaway is open internationally, with the exception of the make-up palette which is ONLY open to those living in the US, UK or Canada.

One winner be selected for each item.

Must be 18 to enter or 13 with a parents' permission.

Entries are done via Rafflecopter and will be verified. NOTE that each action will gain you ONE entry. This means to enter you do not have to do every single item.

Giveaway ENDS August 1.









a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Unravelled is FREE for 5 Days

This week is all about the freebies (HINT of things to come on the blog this week). Following in that tradition, Unravelled is FREE on Kindle for the next 5 days. Get it here (US) or here (UK). 



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