Monday, 18 September 2017

The Watcher by Ross Armstrong


Hi Everyone, 

Hope you're all well, as you're reading this (if you're reading it within the first two weeks of publishing) I'm currently on holiday in Florida and my scheduling worked... let's keep all fingers crossed that it all goes to plan!

I'm back today with a book review, I was sent the book The Watcher by Ross Armstrong in return for review as part of the blog tour by HQ Stories.

You can also check out all the tour dates in the tour banner below:

The Watcher is the story of Lily Gullick who lives in a nice new build flat with her husband Aiden. Lily is a keen bird watcher which ends up translating to being an avid people watcher too and after a short while, Lily feels like she knows most of her neighbours across the way in the old estate which is due for demolition.
Naturally curious Lily can't seem to separate her hobby of bird watching from the more intrusive pass-time of essentially spying on her unsuspecting targets through their own windows in their various homes, catching them in their natural environment if you will, however, one day Lily sees something suspicious through her binoculars and the next day she is horrified to discover her elderly neighbour Jean has been murdered.
Lily begins to lose all sense of the outside world as she goes further and further into her observations to uncover the culprit with each new lead sending her further into herself and her voyeurism but Lily isn't the only one who is watching, someone appears to be watching Lily too, and that person could be very dangerous.

I initially struggled to get invested in Lily's character, her obsessive nature was a little hard to get to grips with at times and I found it difficult to comprehend her actions as she is thrown into a seemingly scary and foreboding situation. Lily seems unable to grasp the full gravity of the danger she is putting herself into and for that reason, I was unable to identify with her as a person. The story however was an interesting one with a twist I didn't see coming (and I'm usually pretty good with twists!). The last few chapters of the book made it for me as I had been a little uncertain where the story was leading up until that point.
Once a fair amount was revealed about Lily's character I was then able to connect the dots and assign more meaning to her seemingly erratic and compulsive behaviours.

Overall, I gave 'The Watcher' 3/5 stars and I'd be interested to read it again to see if there was something I just wasn't getting first time round, I feel that now I know what the twist is, I would be able to see the book from a different viewpoint.

Have you read the watcher? I'd love to know your thoughts!

Bye for now.



Monday, 11 September 2017

AD* Stemuderm Review: Should You Try Stemuderm For Aging Skin?

Hi Everyone,

Today I'm bringing you an Ad from Solvaderm, the ad was written by Solvaderm for publication upon this blog, as such, this is not a personally written piece.

Hope you're all well,

Rosy xx

Stemuderm Review: Should You Try Stemuderm For Aging Skin?

Aging skin can be uncomfortable and unpleasant, causing significant changes in a person’s mental health. When a person starts to notice the visible signs of aging, they may start to feel self-conscious and the way they feel about their body may also be affected negatively. While botox and other expensive surgical options can help to reduce these signs, these options are often very expensive and they can be invasive. For those who are experiencing the visible signs of aging, especially at a premature age, there is an alternative option that does not cost hundreds of dollars, does not cause any significant side-effects and are not invasive – the alternative option is a high-quality anti-aging cream.
Anti-aging creams have become quite popular in the beauty industry, with more and more people starting to turn toward these creams as an alternative to the more expensive options on the market. There are a significant number of different options on the market today, such as anti-wrinkle creams, eye serums and even some options that help to restore the lost elasticity of the skin. Today, we want to introduce you to Stemuderm, a revolutionary anti-aging cream developed by one of the world’s most trusted companies in the anti-aging and beauty industry, Solvaderm.

What Is Stemuderm And Who Is It For?

Stemuderm is a relatively new product by Solvaderm. The product has been created to offer a revolution in the anti-aging and skincare industries. Stemuderm has been developed by renowned dermatologists and is one of their award-winning products. Unlike many products that are currently seen on the market, this particular product focuses on all of the most common symptoms that people experience when they start to age – some even at an age that is considered premature. This means the product will not only take care of fine lines or another specific problem, but rather focus on all of the problems related to aging skin; thus offering an advanced formula that also provides a deep and high-quality moisturizer for the skin.
Another excellent feature of Stemuderm is the fact that the product can be used by anyone. This is a feature that we do not often see in anti-aging products, as they are often created for people of older ages. Instead, Stemuderm also offers a solution for those younger individuals that are experiencing signs of aging too soon. According to the products official web page, people of any age, from as young as their 20s, can utilize the benefits that this particular cream has to offer them.

The Benefits Of Stemuderm

There are a significant number of benefits that Stemuderm is able to offer its user. The most significant benefit is the fact that this cream is suitable for all users, whether they are in their 20s or late 50s, or even at a more mature age. Other benefits that Stemuderm is also able to offer its user includes:

  •     Developed by dermatologists and dermatologically tested.
  •     Does not contain any parabens or perfume; thus the risk of skin irritation is significantly reduced.
  •     The product is perfect for every skin type, be it dry, oily, combination skin or normal skin.
  •     Potential users who has acne-prone skin does not have to worry about experiencing more severe acne while using this product.
  •      In addition to assisting with the removal of facial wrinkles and fine lines, Stemuderm also helps to restore the natural elasticity of skin in the face, thanks to the stem cell solution utilized in its formula.

How Stemuderm Should Be Used

Applying an anti-aging cream in the correct way is very important if you wish to reap all the benefits that the particular product has to offer you. When it comes to Stemuderm, the application is quite easy, but it is still important to read the entire instruction label and consider exactly when, how and to which areas the product should be applied.
Stemuderm should only be applied after the face has been both cleansed and toned. A very small amount of the cream should be applied to the face, as well as the neck. The eyes should be avoided as a separate product can be utilized for this especially delicate area of the face. The cream should be massaged into the face in circular motions.


Precautions and Potential Side-Effects

As with any product, be it natural or contain a chemical structure, being educated about the potential side-effects that might be experienced while using a product, as well as precautions that should be taken into consideration, is essential. This will help you prevent the development of any significant side-effects that may lead to unpleasant effects on the face.
Stemuderm has not been associated with any potentially harmful side-effects and it has been proven to be relatively safe. There is, however, a slight concern about a potential allergic reaction that may be experienced by users with excessively sensitive skin. Thus, to avoid the risk of an allergic reaction, users should first apply a small amount of this anti-aging cream to the inner part of the arm and wait a couple of hours to see if any reaction develops. In case of an allergic reaction, it is advised not to use the product on the face.

Final Words

Aging is, unfortunately, a natural part of life. The effects of aging can often be unpleasant, such as causing the development of wrinkles, fine lines and puffiness around the eyes. The skin’s elasticity also deteriorates with age, causing skin to become saggy. While botox and other more invasive options are not the most useful options when it comes to treating aging signs on the skin on a small budget, Stemuderm poses as an effective alternative. The product utilizes stem cell technology to assist with reducing the visible appearance of aging, and has numerous additional benefits to offer the user, such as intense hydration, as well as an enhancement in skin elasticity. The product can be used in the morning and in the evening, and comes at a very convenient price.


Monday, 28 August 2017

The Palette That Started It All | Urban Decay Naked


Hello Everyone,

I hope you're all well and have had a great summer, I can't believe Autumn will be upon us soon, especially since we haven't really had a summer here at all, it's been rain, rain, rain here.

With the poor weather and the inability to go outside, I've spent a large amount of time sorting through my belongings lately, donating things to charity, binning things, ebaying other things and rediscovering old favourites and one item that got me thinking was my trusty old Urban Decay Naked Palette

The Urban Decay Naked palette is more than just another palette in my collection to me, it is the palette, the one that started it all and became an accidental symbol.

I had always looked at the makeup stands in the lovely shops that I couldn't afford, I loved everything about these stands, the perfectly made up sales assistants, the beautifully packaged products, the huge range of shades and the boxes of things that I wasn't quite sure what they actually were but I wanted them. 
At the time I was using an old white eye shadow that I had been given free with a magazine, I didn't own a blusher and my mascara did nothing for me, these makeup halls were filled with promise, of the woman I wanted to one day be and at the center of it all was the Naked palette. I had watched a girl online using this palette in a tutorial (this was waaaaayyyy before YouTube is what it is now) and my mind was made up, I would own this palette.

I got myself a nice little job and with the first pay day I treated myself to the Naked experience, and it didn't let me down. Naked 1 (which, at the time was the only naked palette) was everything I had hoped it would be, highly pigmented, wearable, beautiful and so very very smooth. Even a novice (like I was at the time) could create something beautiful using this palette. My favourite shades were Sin and Naked, and I would pair them together most days for work.
The palette above isn't instagram ready, it's very used, has traveled the world with me and has been with me through some of the hardest and best times.

It is currently well out of date, but I just can't part with it, I know it is a bit silly to be sentimental over makeup, but this isn't just makeup to me, this little box of nude shades is a symbol to me, the girl then wanting to be the woman I've become now, the gateway to makeup love and the ability to exercise my own creativity in thinking up looks that match my mood.

The reminder that once I was stood there on the outside looking into a world I couldn't understand but years later I was stood with an overnight bag stuffed full of my favourite products doing my best friend's makeup for her wedding day along with the other bridesmaids (and yes, my bag contained in-date Urban Decay products!). Sometimes things can seem unattainable, impossible at times but if you work at them, they can stop being dreams and become a reality.

My collection of pretty things and special makeup may be a lot bigger these days, but I'll never forget the day I grasped that brand new Naked palette in my hands and started on the next stage of my life journey.

Do you have a special item you just can't part with?

Rosy xx

Monday, 21 August 2017

Girl's Day Out | Waterstones Fort Kinnaird


Hi Everyone,

Today's post excites me very much because it combines my favourite things, books and my little lady.

Girl's days are something me and my little girl look forward to, we take ourselves off somewhere nice together to get some quality time in, sometimes we go swimming, sometimes we visit tourist attractions, other times we hit the shops for a spot of retail therapy and one type of shopping we are always both excited by is book shopping.

I was invited to visit Waterstones in Fort Kinnaird Edinburgh with my mini me to check out their new store layout, Waterstones in Fort Kinnaird used to be situated on the opposite side of the retail park but recently moved into another building. I used to visit the old store quite a lot and I (like many other people) believed that they had closed down at this location, I can't tell you how happy I am that this isn't the case!

Upon arrival we spotted the new school book section, having just started school, my little one is excited by all things 'school' and instantly spotted the Topsy and Tim Start School book that has been a staple in our house at the moment! If you have a child due to start their first term soon I really recommend this book, it goes over the feelings of nervousness and the excitement of starting primary school.

If you're a book fanatic like me, being surrounded by all the titles of books you are yet to read is an exciting prospect, I remember spending literally hours a day of my late teens in Waterstones and that excitement for a shop filled with literary treasures has never left me and I'm so excited that this bookish love is passing down to my daughter too.

Each section in the Fort Kinnaird Waterstones is perfectly stocked and there are loads of little reader tips with various recommendations and added information about various books (in the pictures above you can see what looks like post-it notes on the shelves, they're what we are talking about here) which I love reading and have picked up some great new books this way in the past.

Along with the standard book covers for casual reading, there was also a sizable range of more gift worthy editions of books from classics to children's books all beautifully bound with the most beautiful covers, I occasionally treat myself to such prizes and I definitely buy them for my daughter for Christmas gifts too but I always like a browse, how beautiful is that hardback copy of 'A Little Princess'? I am adding that one to my wish list!

I couldn't write a post about visiting Waterstones and leave out my book shop ritual of hunting out the Enid Blyton selection, I have some serious nostalgia of autumn evenings as a kid reading about the Malory Towers capers and they still hold a special place in my heart even after reading thousands more books since those long cosy nights.

The Magic Faraway Tree was another obsession of mine as a little kid and I often think of this book on my many woodland walks to this day and if you have a child who loves a bit of magic and adventure, you can't go wrong with this story of a trio of siblings who move to the countryside from the city only to discover an enchanted wood full of exciting secrets, magic lands and quirky forest folk.

For those of you looking to buy a bookish gift for a reading obsessed friend or loved one, look no further than the gift section in your local Waterstones, there is always a plethora of goodies from Penguin Classics themed mugs to playing cards to tote bags to local themed items.

I do love seeing a bit of personality in shops and I always find things to suit the local area when I'm browsing a Waterstones store, Fort Kinnaird has loads of lovely Scottish items being that we are in Edinburgh here but when I travel up and down the UK, I have found books and gifts proudly showing off the area you are in at the time.

The range of kids character toys is fantastic, I have a fair few at home myself for both me and my daughter, I don't know about any of your children but my little girl loves picking a character soft toy to take to bed and then we read a story or two featuring the toy of the night, it's a little ritual we both enjoy immensely, my cottage however, is at serious risk of overflowing with the amount of cute things we both insist on collecting and perhaps we should rein it in... (as I look down at my new pusheen themed slipper socks Mr Sparkles brought me two days ago).

After our little browse I went to speak to the manager of the Fort Kinnaird store, Keith Cooper.

If ever there was a man to ignite a passion for books, Keith is your man. I asked about their Scottish author selection and was thrilled by all the information I was given whilst being shown various books around the store, I learned about Scottish folklore that I had never heard of before (although I live in Scotland now I'm originally from Newcastle) including a story of the Kelpie which was such an interesting legend, forget your Loch Ness, read up on The Kelpie! I also saw a Scottish Fairy Tales book I'll be going back to get next month!

I also discovered that some of our favourite kid's books have been translated into Scots now too, such as the Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson who now has a pizenous plook’ on his neb thanks to James Robertson, a Scottish writer of several short stories, poetry amd novels, who translated the book. 

I discovered Keith also had a liking for crime novels (which as many of you will know are a favourite of mine) and he pointed me towards some of his favourites from Scottish authors, there were so many exciting sounding stories to pick from but I finally settled on Black Widow by Chris Brookmyre as it came highly recommended, it is the story of a blogger who upsets a few people with her sexism posts and has information leaked about her online, then she meets Peter who knows nothing of her past and they marry after a whirlwind romance but before long Peter is dead and the press are calling her the Black Widow, but did she do it?

I can't wait to read this one, I'm excited to read more from Scottish authors as so far I've not come across many and living in Scotland I should remedy that asap.

My daughter picked up Princess Evie's Ponies: Willow The Magic Forest Pony which is her second book from this series now. She also latched on to a Mog teddy after being a huge fan of the Mog series by Judith Kerr and we went upstairs to the cafe to have a look at our books and have a hot drink, this is another ritual of ours on our 'Girl's Days' and I love that Waterstones at Fort Kinnaird have a cafe in the building because it is a perfect way to relax with your new read, little one had hot chocolate and I had an Earl Grey tea.

We were very kindly gifted our books and drinks and even Mog too which was a lovely surprise and I can't thank Waterstones enough for having me but in particular, Keith Cooper for taking the time to talk to me and give me loads of information and exciting recommendations, we had a lovely time.

I'd love to know how any of you blow off steam when you want some quality time.

Do you visit Waterstones yourself? Let me know if you've been to Fort Kinnaird!

Bye for now,

Rosy xx

*As stated above, books and refreshments were provided free of charge (Mog too!) but all opions are my own.
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