Delicious Soap

I very rarely buy grocery or department store soap any more.  I remember a time where I’d buy the biggest pack of the cheapest soap possible because I couldn’t see a real need to buy anything better. The dry skin feeling to cheap, chemical filled soap didn’t really matter, that is what moisturiser is for right?

Fast forward to now and I love buying beautiful soap. It started with a trip to Lush and eventually moved onto looking at all the amazing varieties available on Etsy. I have bought some excellent soap on Etsy, soaps that show a creators love for their trade. One of my favourites being a chocolate soap that looked and smelt like chocolate. It was difficult not to eat it.

Usually I like to stick to Australian sellers, I’m not sure why, mostly for the cheaper shipping probably, and I know I’ll get the product in a fairly timely manner.

Most recently I stumbled on Poured Organics Etsy store and they had a huge variety of excellent sounding soaps and I  knew I would just have to buy some. Previous to that I’d been using a non scented goats milk soap. I love goats milk soap but after 4 bars of scent free boring, you really want something a bit more interesting.

Some beautiful soaps from Poured Organics

Some beautiful soaps from Poured Organics

After buying my products and getting them shipped out I realised they have a larger range of products than just soap.. how I didn’t notice this in the beginning I don’t know, it’s right there in the menu after all! I am pretty keen to try some of the passionfruit and watermelon lip balms at some point!

Even though it was a hard decision, in the end I decided to buy the Wild Strawberry (how beautiful is that red colour?), Aloe & Tea Tree, Cranberry Fig and, on a whim, Sugar Plum Fairy Icecream. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Sugar Plum Fairy Icecream but the description said it was good enough to eat so I needed to know what that was about and added it to the order. It turns out it was my favourite scent when I received them and I ended up using it first. I thought it smelt like Redskins, which I love!

Apparently Redskins are an Australian thing so for those that have no idea what I’m talking about, this is what a Redskin looks like. It’s a chewy, delicious Raspberry flavoured candy. Basically a staple of any Aussie kid.

Delicious! Remind me to buy these next time I go shopping!

Delicious! Remind me to buy these next time I go shopping!

 When my soap turned up at work I opened up the box straight away because I was so excited to see how everything looked and smelt and to my surprise there was an extra bag that came with some free samples. One of which was the Applejack Pineapple which I wanted to buy and didn’t! So that was super exciting, unexpected and very generous of Poured Organics.

Sample soaps and a personalised label! Neat!

Sample soaps and a personalised label! Neat!

When I got home I couldn’t wait to open one of them up, ready for the shower the next day. As mentioned about the lucky winner was the Sugar Plum Fairy Icecream and I wasn’t let down, it turns out it is also a goat milk soap (which is great!) so it is soft and creamy and moisturing plus it smells great!

Overall, I’m really pleased I decided to look into different soaps this time around and found Poured Organics, their service was excellent and I received everything fast and in good condition (plus I got some freebies YAY!).

Please note: I wasn’t paid for this post, I paid for all the items myself and really just want people to hear about this lovely brand.

2013 – All of the YouTube

In 2013 I finally realised that youtube was pretty decent, and not just for one off things but for original series and cool stuff.. yes I’m a bit behind the times 🙂 I subscribed to a lot of different stuff, things I’d never have found if youtube wasn’t there for the viewing and I thought I’d share my top 5 for you. Some of these were around before 2013 and one of them I actually found 2 days ago, but as it was being made in 2013 I’m counting it. Below are the first episodes of the shows or, if it isn’t a series, one of my favourite episodes from the show.

  1. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (LBD)

    This, sadly, finished in March of 2013 but it was excellent while it lasted. I remember stumbling on a random episode one day without realising what it was and thinking how it seemed very coincidental that there was a Lizzie Bennet with a vlog who had sisters named Jane and Lydia. To coincidental in fact, because it’s actually a modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, a very good one considering I thought it was exactly what is was pretending to be. I watched nearly all of this in about 2 days and wanted more!

    There was a lot of social media integration into this with each character having their own twitter accounts and some having spin off shows to work with the LBD. The show has won awards and done a bunch of comicon panels and super cool stuff. If you’re into Jane Austen it’s definitely something to watch.

  2. Emma Approved

    Emma Approved is made by the same people that created the Lizzie Bennet Diaries except it’s taken from the book Emma rather than Pride and Prejudice. Initially, I didn’t think I was going to watch this because it wasn’t that great in the beginning but then I realised it was actually more that I dislike Emma than disliking the show.

    Joana Sotomura plays Emma very well which is where some of my dislike probably came from, for anyone that has read the book or watched a different version of this, I’m sure you can relate. Not only that, but Brent Bailey who plays Knightley is wonderful and I often wish this was from his perspective

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  3. Stuff Mom Never Told You

    Cristen makes some great videos, mostly about being a woman in the world today and discussing stuff like our bodies, men and anything really relevant that comes up day to day. She also does a great segment called Herstory that focuses on a lesser known woman in history and she interviews them (she dresses up as them and basically interviews herself, it’s pretty neat) and provides sources on where you can find out more.

    The video I provided above is one of my favourites and one of the most relevant to me, it’s about women who aren’t particularly interested in having kids and how to deal with people wanting to know why the hell not. When I watched it I thought “finally, someone who understands how annoying it is!” because, if you’re in my situation you know how frustrating it is when people tell you you’ll change your mind about having kids or look at you like you’re crazy for not wanting them.

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  4. Sex+

    I was really surprised about how much I learnt from watching Laci’s videos. I can’t even remember which was the first one I watched or why but I’m really pleased that I did. Sex+ videos are about sex, sexuality and bodies and people in general. It’s mostly targeted at late teens but I think everyone can find something they didn’t know by watching them. Laci is doing some great work with educating teens on safe sex and how to be comfortable with your sexuality in a country where sex ed is lacking in most schools.

    There are some excellent videos on learning about your body (like the one above) and how to look after it and how to be more confident and comfortable with how it/you look. If you’re interested in more videos like this you might also like Sexplanations, it is a bit different to Sex+ and is more about knowledge on sex in general and the different types of sexuality there are, a bit more grown up than Sex+ but both are quite good.

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  5. Welcome to Night Vale

    This was referred to me a few days ago, I wasn’t going to give it a chance because it was a podcast and I’m not very good at listening to things like this. I can’t do audio books because I just get to distracted and forget to listen. I decided I would though and I’m glad I did, it’s possibly the strangest thing I’ve ever listened to – that I’ve enjoyed anyway- and the narrators voice is amazing, I love listening to him. Welcome to Night Vale is a story of the goings on in Night Vale in the style of community radio station updates, it’s very eerie and creepy and I’m not really sure why anyone lives in Night Vale but I like hearing about them all the same.

    Especially Carlos and his perfect hair that Cecil loves so much.

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After putting these all in a list I realised that they’re mostly women hosted shows, which if you look around on youtube you’ll notice that other than beauty/nails/hair/etc these are hard to come by, it sort of makes me wish I’d added Emily from The Brain Scoop to the list. She recently made a video about the lack of women on youtube with more than a million subscribers, she also recently did a video on the skinning of a Squirrel.. both interesting, the latter a bit disturbing – probably don’t watch it if you’re a bit squeamish, it is useful if you want to learn what a Brain Scoop is though.

Let me know in the comments what you’re watching as I’m always looking for something new! And remember, all hail the might glow cloud!

Reviewed: The Moon and More

The Moon and More A week before this book was released I didn’t even know about it but as soon as I heard I had to have it straight away! I usually get books from the library or buy them (if I think the’re something special) but very rarely do I read ebooks because I prefer having the physical book in front of me.

Not this time though, I had to read The Moon and More the week it was released! It was Dessen after all, I love all her books! Even if I forget them between reads and then pick up one thinking I haven’t read it and realise I have but it was just like all her other books so I forgot about it.

I was thinking the other week how Dessen is a bit like the Dan Brown of YA. They both have very popular, very formulaic books. Unlike Brown though, Dessen actually has some talent.

So, did The Moon and More keep in line with the formula? Girl with parent issues? Yup! Girl who just finished school or on summer holidays? Yup! Girl just met new/interesting/quirky/weird boy just at the exact time that she needed too? Yup! Set in the fictional town of Colby? Yup! Yup! Yup!

Even with all that, something wasn’t quite right about this book. When I first heard about the book I remember seeing Dessen write how she got inspired by a pool boy (oh yeah!) and how maybe her next book should be from the perspective of a local of Colby rather than from one of the tourists there for the summer.

I was in Emerald Isle, which is the beach town in NC that is basically my Colby, sitting by the pool at our rental house, reading a book. I heard the gate open and looked over to see a guy coming in, shirtless, with a bunch of pool cleaning equipment. He smiled, waved. “Hey, how’s it going?” he said. “Good,” I replied. “You?” And then he started talking. About the busy season, and being from Emerald Isle and what it was like to be a local in a vacation spot. He told me about his job cleaning pools, and his side job working on a charter fishing boat, all while cleaning the pool. When he left about fifteen minutes later, I thought: Well, there’s my next book. It was like he’d just walked in and handed it to me.

Maybe this is what doesn’t work. Emaline is a bit of a Colby snob to her tourist friends, often complaining that they go places she’s been going her entire life because, you know, there’s so much option in a small beachside town. This attitude and her inability to learn just isn’t interesting. No one really is. They’re not likeable either, they’re just… boring and I find myself not caring about their story.

To say I was disappointed in The Moon and More is an understatement. If I were writing a Dessen style book to describe how I feel about this book it would be called “Not Quite Right” and it would be how Colby feels old and used now. I’d be the returning summer tourist who usually greets her with a smile, now sitting her down to tell her it’s time for us to part ways. Sorry Sarah but it’s not me, it’s you.

Chickens Don’t Clap!

Finally, after waiting for months and months and also years and years for there to be new Arrested Development, I got to watch the 4th season over the last couple of days.

I was a bit scared to watch it in the beginning. Could it really be better than the original 3 seasons? As one of my favourite shows I was worried they’d ruin it by bringing it back (which is something I’m also scared about with the Veronica Mars movie – I backed it all the same, because it’s Veronica Mars!) and it wouldn’t be as funny or as clever.

Watching the first few episodes of Season 4 I was thinking maybe I was right and that they’d made a huge mistake. It was mostly the character introduction that did it though and I guess that was required for people just jumping on the Arrested Development bandwagon. After getting passed that and seeing the season and episodes unravel it was pretty awesome seeing how they’d planned it.

Each episode is character centric (which I’m not sure I liked but it still worked) and you really only get to see the story from their perspective until the next episode when the same events happen but revolving around a different character. As the season progresses you learn more and more about the same events and it gets smarter as more is revealed, although I’m not sure it’s as funny as it used to be.

It’s sad to see that there is very rarely any scenes or episodes based off the entire family though. The interaction between the family members is really missing and it also means no crazy parties or speeches that never happen, however many of the old running jokes were included – even if the chicken dance didn’t make an appearance, or Franklin for that matter – although the ‘Her’ Anne/Egg jokes got a bit much, and I used to love that joke! Especially Egg.

I am really hoping for a 5th season, mostly to see if they explain Lindsay’s face (because Portia De Rossi doesn’t look like that outside of Arrested Development – if it weren’t for her voice I wouldn’t have recognised her initially) and what the deal was with the ending of season 4.

Oh, and to see the return of the chicken dances!

Reviewed: Sisterhood Everlasting

Sisterhood EverlastingSisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m not sure what to say about this book, I’m not even sure I liked it. I found out a few months ago that a fifth Travelling Pants book had been released and as I had bought the other four over the years that I should know how it ends.

Flash forward ten years and the girls aren’t quite the sisterhood they used to be. Although, I don’t think their characters really did much growing up in those 10 years, mostly just growing apart. Especially Lena, Kostos seemed like a man in his 30s and Lena still seemed like a lost teenaged girl, pining for the boy she loved and lost all those years before. Although, maybe that is what Brashares was going for, that Lena just locked herself away from life. The theme is sort of shoved down your throat throughout the book, and oh.. Bee is broken. Which, if you’ve read the previous books, you’d know anyway.

I read the 4 books leading up to this in about 3 weeks and I’m glad I did, while this book could easily stand up on it’s own it was good to re-visit the characters again and see them for their achievements and also their flaws. Unfortunately, as mentioned above, they didn’t seem to do much changing and a whole lot of staying the same, except Carmen… although she didn’t seem to learn much of anything along the way.

It was good seeing that they hadn’t turned out incredibly successful, ecstatically happy with life and still together and everything was fabulous, I was sort of expecting that something a bit like Now and Then but, thankfully, that didn’t happen. It was good to see some sort of realism in the book, even if part of me wanted them to be incredibly successful and ecstatically happy.

Overall, it was a good read and a nice, if surprising and sometimes sad, way of ending their stories.