Book Of The Month – Mind Your Own Beeswax (Hannah Reed)

This particular book of the month is not so much being featured because I loved it, but because I didn’t.

Hannah Reed has come up with a fantastic concept with this small time store owner and bee keeper solving mysteries. It has the potential to be comedic as well as unique and interesting. But it falls flat. In the first book Story Fischer is understandably focused on trying to save her bees and makes some stupid decisions in the pursuit of justice. Her penchant for stupid decisions and not speaking up when she should is not so understandable in the second one.

I grew very tired of hearing how she slipped and tripped because she wore flip flips everywhere (including while tending to bees) and how she reached into her lives without proper protective equipment.

I was also unimpressed with how the author handled phobia. In this novel Story’s cousin Carrie-Anne offers to look after a dog then dumps it on Story with no regard for Story’s fear of dogs. The author then makes it seem like Story looking after this dog cures her fear. Talk about unlikely. Story also behaves with similar disregard to her sister’s fear of bees.

The mother and the sister also need a swift kick for their behavior.

So what does this story have going for it? It has a quirky element, some interesting character dynamics and the potential to be a brilliant mystery series. But at this point in the series this is being stifled by characters not learning from their mistakes.

Krystal xx

Halo Beauty – First Thoughts

If you’re into beauty and watch YouTube, you’ve probably heard of beauty vlogger Tati Westbrook aka the GlamLifeGuru.

image-tati2_1020x700.pngShe has just released her beauty brand Halo Beauty, which so far has one product a vitamin for skin hair and nails. It sounds great and it’s both sugar and gluten free as well as vegan. She’s also been fairly transparent about the ingredients.

However a lot of bloggers, vloggers and others have been really negative about her brand and ingredients. I am surprised that her brand is so far just one product, but when you look at the product it looks fairly decent and people haven’t even used it yet to comment.

home-product2_1020x700.pngLooking at the ingredients and people’s concerns about things they do or don’t do and potential ill health you could get, there has been nothing more than a few suggested correlations. And the thing with correlations is that the two variables appear to be related but may both be occurring for non-related reasons. While I don’t think this product will be a miracle, I don’t think it will be any less effective than all the anti-aging creams out there and the companies for those don’t have to disable comments due to negativity and personal attacks.

It will be interesting to see how effective the product is once it is used for a period of time and how it affects Tati’s perceived integrity.

Krystal xx

iHerb Review (with promo code TRC217)

I love the internet, but I’m not such a fan of shopping online. Reluctant practice has made me a more confident online shopper, but I still refuse to do it unless I can’t purchase the product in a store locally. One of the main sites I use for these things is iHerb. This is my candid review of iHerb as the reluctant online shopper.

iHerb offers a range of health and beauty products for the more natural and healthy minded consumer. These products include two lip balm ranges I am crazy about; Crazy Rumors and Hurraw. The products are well priced and in your local currency both in the browsing and checkout screens (unlike Amazon).

iHerb offers a range of shipping options, including a no-rush cheaper shipping option as well as free shipping to countries outside the US. They also offer a shipping saver option on certain items.

Because I select the cheapest shipping, my items don’t arrive overnight by any means, but they still arrive within a reasonable time frame and iHerb sends a tracking number so I can track the item’s progress and know when it will possibly arrive. The items are also well packaged and arrive undamaged.

If you haven’t used iHerb before enter the code TRC217 and you’ll get 5% off your first purchase 🙂

Happy Shopping,

Krystal xx

Book Of The Month: Library Lovers Mysteries

When I think of the word silhouette, I think of that shadowing figure lurking in the mystery novels such as Sherlock Holmes. Although a little less shadowy than Sherlock Holmes, today’s post is the revival of Book Of The Month, starting with Jenn McKinlay’s Library Lovers Mysteries. This series is perhaps slightly less well known than her Cupcake Bakery Mysteries, but equally as charming.

fddb2fe9-539c-42bc-b546-76966ab16a3b_1-5f17b7532a339289a9534e6bb03180b4Library Director Lindsay Norris, is no cliché shabby librarian with glasses. She is more like a success business woman, trying to keep their small local library (Briar Creek Public Library) up with the times and is joined by a cast of entertaining characters that might her life more colourful, easier and harder in turn.

Briar Creek Public Library features her friend Beth who is the best and most costumed children’s librarian you will ever come across. Ms Cole however is a typical crusty old woman who make’s Lindsay’s life more challenging.

Outside the library there is of course the love interest Sully, who is naturally also just a lovely guy and his sister and her husband who run an excellent sounding restaurant. They are also joined by Lindsay’s landlady are her nephew, who add to the list of people that shape Lindsay’s Briar Creek family.

The series is a perfect cozy mystery without being in a eatery like many of them are. The characters are also engaging and entertaining. Several of the characters are also involved in a book club which reads a different book in each novel. The book includes a book club guide for each novel they read for any readers who may wish to also read these clubs in their book club.

The first in the series is Books Can Be Deceiving. The description is as follows…

Lindsey is getting into her groove as the director of the Briar Creek Public Library when a New York editor visits town, creating quite a buzz. Lindsey’s friend Beth wants to sell the editor her children’s book, but Beth’s boyfriend, a famous author, gets in the way. When they go to confront him, he’s found murdered-and Beth is the prime suspect. Lindsey has to act fast before they throw the book at the wrong person.

This book is a good start to the series, with Lindsay, Beth and Sully shining in particular as characters. The series then goes on to deepen these characters and their relationships, keeping the reader engaged in their lives.

Krystal xx

Silence in NYC: An Infrequent Event

Silence is a moment of stillness or quiet. In New York that is fairly hard to come by and treasured when it does. Here are some moments of silence in the city that really does never sleep.

Silence is a quiet frozen stillness, like on this pond in Central Park.

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Silence is a respectful pause of reflection, like here at the 9/11 Memorial.

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Silence is when you finally get out of the crowds and no one is around, like this little corner behind a wall by Fox.

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Silence for a moment is golden, silence for a lifetime is bleak.

Krystal xx

Viewing Platforms In New York (Manhattan)

It’s been a while, I’ve been doing some exploring around the globe and spending more time writing content for other people than myself, but hopefully in this new year, I’ll be able to share all the latest with you.

Recently, I spent a fair bit of time in New York City and over the next little while I will give you all my tips and tricks to seeing New York. First, I’ll start off by talking about the different viewing platforms.

Empire State Building

If you’ve ever seen Sleepless in Seattle, you’ll have seen a sneak preview of what it is like up in the Empire State Building. But unless you’re first in the morning or there last thing at night like they were, it probably won’t be so empty. But that is ok, because with so many other attractions you have to line up for ages so you want to be there first thing in the morning. But with the Empire State Building, what really impressed me was their crowd control. When we went first thing in the morning, it was fairly quick to get in. When we went in the afternoon, the line was hallway around the bottom of the building. Yet the line moved quickly and there was a lot of staff making sure things were orderly and being available to provide information. They also kept spaces near doors clear for those going to other places. Then inside there was more moving through the line, going through security scanning and then finally up to the first inside viewing platform. But again the line did keep moving. The inside viewing platform is particularly great in winter (the time I was there) as it is warm. That is on the 80th floor. You can then either take the lift or the stairs up to the 86th floor to the outside viewing platform where they also have the famous binoculars. For a keen photographer like me this was the best place to get photos through the fencing. But going up there at night in winter like we did was pretty chilly. Both viewing platforms offer a good view of the city and particularly of the Freedom Tower.

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One World Observatory (Freedom Tower)

We had to check out One World as it was the newest, the tallest and offered a Winter Wonderland experience. The Winter Wonderland experience was a quick animation in the lift about how New York’s skyline has changed and virtual frosted windows which didn’t work the day we were there. For One World you have to line outside in the freezing cold with a line that doesn’t seen to move (especially if you’re in the voucher line like we were). There is one staff member on waving people through, a lack of information available and did I mention cold? Once you get inside to buy your tickets you can’t go straight up like you did in Empire, you have to come back at a certain time (so I’d recommend buying your tickets online for a set time if you can then just showing up 20 minutes before that time). Out the other side of the Freedom Tower is the Westfield mall and it is in here by the Subway that you line up at your time. It also means you can fill in time there out of the cold in winter until your timeslot. Lining up, the staff weren’t particularly helpful and got annoyed if people lined up too early. Once inside, you are taken up in a lift to floor 102 then run through a couple of presentations before you get to the viewing platform. The viewing platform is inside and at night very reflective. They also ran other presentation up on the viewing platform that you could choose to listen to which was very informative. The view here is the best of the bridges such as the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and the Hudson River. You can also dine up there with a panoramic view.

IMG_3527.JPGTop Of The Rock

We choose not to do this platform in the end because it was near the Empire State Building, but it is best to do during the day as it offers a great view of Central Park. You can also see the classic Empire State Building. It looked like more of the lining up was done inside so it may also be a better winter venue.

So if you’re going to New York, these are all good spots to see the city from, but if I had to pick one, I’d definitely pick Empire State Building.

Krystal xx

The Zero Waste Period

I came across and article recently about the zero waste period. I had previously heard of the menstrual cup, but it turns out there are far more options (which is a good thing really).

There were three things that I found really interesting to consider with these alternatives. The first of course being their positive environmental impact, the second being people’s statements around how not using synthetic disposable materials has made their monthly cycle more comfortable and the last being around the coast saving. Apparently, women can spend $5000-10,000 on sanitary products in their lifetime. Whereas with the zero waste alternatives, you’re looking more around $1000-$2000 in your lifetime. Or less if your products last well. So, what are these alternative options?

First off, of course there is the option of using a menstrual cup instead of tampons. A cup can last you up to 10 years as oppose to a box every period or so. But it is a rather liberal option being a cup inside your you-know-where.

Secondly, there is the reusable pad option instead of the synthetic disposable pad option. This kind of reminds me of cloth nappies in terms of its philosophy. But I’m willing to consider it as an option.

Thirdly, there is period underwear. This one reminds me of incontinence underwear. But at the same time, I’m thinking that perhaps period-proof underwear is the secret to no leakage.

And lastly, there is the sea sponge. This is the option I am least sure about, because a bit like the beauty blender, how much bacteria is getting in there in the 6 months it is supposed to last?

So, if you want to get on the zero waste bandwagon ladies, here is some alternatives that could long-term be great for the environment, your body and your wallet.

Krystal xx

 

Schwarzkopf Live Colour Pastel Spray – Cotton Candy Review

I wanted to dye my hair pink, but wanted to test the colour suited me before going for something more permanent, so this looked like a good option.

I initially hesitated because the colour they showed on the box didn’t really look that cotton candy to me, but ultimately I decided to give it a go because hey, we only live once.

On opening the bottle, I found the liquid inside was a dark pink (you can also see this when you spray the colour on your hands, so make sure to wear gloves).

I chose to apply this by standing in the shower with old black clothes on and a full length mirror leaning against the glass. The reason I did this was because it is much easier to wash down the shower walls than it is the bathroom walls.

I applied the spray to my glove and them rubbed it into my hair. I found it was hard to really get a good coverage on a couple of bits and it was very time consuming compared to a cream product to apply all over the hair.

After it was dry, I fully expected the colour on the box based on previous experience with their sprays but instead I got a dark purple/pink colour.

IMG_1805.JPG Day 1                                      IMG_1806.JPG Day 2

I left this in my hair for two days, but your hair gets quite strawlike so I washed it out on the second day. A bit of colour had faded on the second day and after washing it only a very light layer of colour was left. After another was three days later most of this disappeared too and the tiny bit left the wash after.

IMG_1812.JPG After 1 Wash                              img_1822-2 After 2 Washes

I would use it again for a night out then wash it out the next morning.

Krystal xx