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Sunday, 25 February 2018

The Duchess Deal Blog Tour & Review

When I was contacted and asked if I wanted to take part in the blog tour for the release of The Duchess Deal, I excitedly agreed. I was really flattered to be asked and very intrigued by the story line of the book. Although I love history I haven't read any of Mills & Boon's Regency Romance line, but after this book I want to read more, especially by Tessa Dare.

A word about the cover which as a book illustrator and cover artist you just know I am going to mention! I love it, the gold looks really beautiful and striking. If I saw it in a shop I would definitely pick up the book to read the blurb, it's very inviting.
The Story...
After being badly scarred down one side in battle and then being left by his fiancĂ©e Duke Ashbury is understandably angry at the world, he doesn't believe that he'll ever find love again let alone have children. Nearly dying has made him think about how he needs an heir to leave everything to so that
his estate doesn't get into the wrong hands. Emma turns up at the right moment and an idea forms in his head. He asks Emma to marry him and live with him until they conceive a child then they'll part ways and she'll have her own home in the country. There are some rules though, 'They will be husband and wife by night only. No lights, no kissing, No questions about his battle scars. Last, and most importantly... Once she's pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.'

Right from the start of the story Emma and Duke Ashbury have great banter. I like how she puts the Duke in his place when he becomes arrogant or too demanding. He would probably intimidate and scare most people due to his attitude and appearance, but he definitely met his match with Emma. She eventually gives into the Dukes offer of marriage because as a poverty-stricken seamstress she has nothing else to lose, and after feeling unloved and alone for so long this arrangement will give her a child to love and her own home. However, Emma also has her own demands including having dinner together every evening and talking like a normal husband and wife!
A kiss that Emma demands on their wedding day sparks real feelings and a chemistry neither of them was expecting. But due to his physical and emotional scars Ashbury keeps pushing Emma away, he can't understand how anyone could have feelings for him. Both characters are haunted by their pasts, perhaps more so the duke, but will Emma bring him back to life and will he let go and let her love him?
My Thoughts...
 I loved Emma, she was a strong, sassy character. I also adored the character Khan and surprisingly I also ended up really liking Duke Ashbury, his dark sense of humour and quirks won me over! It goes to show that in life we should look past appearances and get to know the person within.

I really liked this book. It had a real Disney's Beauty and the Beast vibe to it, especially when Emma meets Ashbury's staff! I found the book really witty, it had me laughing out loud quite a lot which I really didn't expect! It's humour brought a light-heartedness to a story that at times was quite emotional. I love Tessa's writing style and I look forward to reading more of her books.
I give The Duchess Deal: 5/5

This book is available now, you can buy your own copy Here
 Don't forget to check out all the amazing bloggers on the tour! Thank you so much to Harper Collins for asking me to take part in this blog tour.
*I was sent this book in an exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own!

Thursday, 25 January 2018

A Week to be Wild book review and the new Mills & Boon Dare series launch

Just before Christmas, I was sent the new Mills & Boon book A Week to be Wild by JC Harroway to celebrate the launch of Mills & Boon's sexiest book series yet, Dare. Dare promises us stories that might make the faint-hearted blush! They still have the same great stories but they've had a makeover with a brand new look to their books. This is a bold and positive step forward for Mills & Boon who launched in 1908.
I do prefer the new Mills & Boon book covers, I know lots of women who would have read Mills & Boon but the previous covers would put them off. It's a shame as the size of their books are really travel friendly, but people were a little embarrassed to read them in public because of the dated covers. However, these new covers have had a great reception and are a step in the right direction for modernizing Mills & Boon for today's readers. 
Libby holds back a lot of herself because she is still dealing with the loss of her adventure-loving fiancĂ© who died in a motorbike accident. She holds the idea that she'll never love anyone again. She's scared to do anything adventuress because she's witnessed first hand what can go wrong. However on a business trip from New York to London Libby meets the young and rich business man Alex Lancaster who is an adrenaline junkie, someone she'd normally avoid, but she cant help but be drawn to him.
 Libby agrees to stay in London for a week longer than she originally planned to help Alex out with his charity, but this involves experiencing lots of the adrenaline filled activities that Alex has planned for his charity. While working together they cant deny the chemistry between them and so agree to a no-strings fling while Libby is in London. Alex brings Libby out of her comfort zone in every way and before long they are experiencing real feelings for each other. But once Libby goes home, they'll be an ocean between them and how could she make it work with another adrenaline junkie after what happened the first time around..?
 I enjoyed this book, I am looking forward to reading more of the new sassy Dare series. If you don't like very descriptive sex scenes in books then this isn't for you. Some of it is very graphic. I think we can expect more of these explicit scenes in the new dare series. 
I applaud Mills & Boon for bringing their books up to date and making such a bold move. You can get your own copy here
*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own!

Thursday, 11 January 2018

My First Cervical Screening Test

* First off I want to do a little disclaimer: If you want any information about Cervical Screening please visit this link Here. This post isn't aimed at explaining everything there is to know about cervical screenings, it's just about my first experience and what happened.
I went for my first Cervical Screening at the age of 28, I know that you are invited to attend your first Cervical Screening at the age of 25, but I had been putting it off. It wasn't so much the actual process of being tested it was the worry of having something wrong. I know that doesn't really make sense because you'd think I'd want to go and get checked out for peace of mind wouldn't you? basically, I was burying my head in the sand.

I have PCOS and so I don't have a regular cycle. At the point of going for my cervical screening, I hadn't had a period in over a year, but I was getting weird things happening like pain and spotting, which could have been my PCOS or something else, it was really starting to worry me. I made the decision that I would stop putting it off and book the appointment. My anxiety was through the roof as I waited to attend first Cervical Screening.
On the day I was surprisingly calm. I went in and the lady was absolutely lovely, she put me at ease straight away. She asked me some questions and input the answers into her computer. She told me that she would be taking cells from my cervix to look for abnormal cells that can lead to cervical cancer. Then came the dreaded moment when she asked me to go over to where the bed was and undress from the waist down then lie down. She pulled a curtain around the bed so I had some privacy. Now, I have had an internal scan for my PCOS so I have had to do this before. But that still doesn't make it any easier. Because I am overweight I have this stupid complex about how I look and I don't even let my Husband look at me naked and now I was about to let a stranger look at me.

When I was ready she opened the curtain and asked me to open my legs but bring my ankles together. She then inserted a speculum, this had to be swapped for a longer one which she told me was very common. When she inserted the speculum it didn't hurt but it was a little uncomfortable. She then inserted a small brush - I don't know what the brush is called so I am just going to just call it a brush, sorry! This was used to collect cells from my cervix. It felt really weird! It wasn't painful but because I had never experienced it before it felt really bizarre. Then she took the brush out and put it in a little bottle to send to the laboratory for testing. She removed the speculum, asked if I was ok and told me to get dressed again when I was ready. The whole procedure from start to finish seemed to only last five minutes.
I got dressed and was told that my results should be ready within a few weeks. I left feeling quite proud of myself for going and finally getting tested. Then came the dreaded wait for my results. I think I'd convinced myself that I would have something wrong with me. One evening I was on my way out and saw the letter lying in the porch. I called my Husband over and I opened it, to my relief the letter said that everything was ok thank goodness!

If you're worried about your health it's always best to go and get checked out. Please don't do what I did and bury your head in the sand. I can totally understand why a lot of women are really nervous about having the test, it does feel a bit embarrassing for some of us. But the 5-10 minutes you're lying there feeling exposed and awkward is worth it to find out if you have cells that can lead to cancer or not! I am really glad that I went, even though it was a few years late. I won't be missing my next cervical screening appointment.
So, if any ladies reading this are scared to go, I really hope that by being brutally honest about my own experience it has encouraged at least one of you to go and get tested.

Contact: roardinosaurblog@outlook.com
Twitter: @roardinosaur_
Instagram: @roardinosaurblog
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Tuesday, 9 January 2018

My New Years Resolutions for 2018

Happy New year! I hope 2018 is a fantastic year for you.

Did you have a good Christmas? I had a lovely Christmas day but December was a horrible month for me. I got very ill but still continued to go to work because it was so busy, even though I should have stayed at home in bed. I had so much planned for December, my favourite month of the year, including lots of blogging. I only managed two posts because I felt so ill. Anyway, it's a new year and a new start. I have lots of content planned for this month and next month so let's hope I can get into some sort of schedule.

Today I thought I'd write about my New Years Resolutions. I've kept them realistic so I am hoping that I can achieve them. I'm hoping to check in with you all around June to tell you if I've stuck to my resolutions.

Loose weight
Ok, so this one is the resolution that may prove difficult. I suffer from PCOS and I find it really difficult to lose weight, but this is the year I am determined to make it happen. Either by myself or I'll go and get some advice from the Dr. I'd like to do a post about PCOS this year about my thoughts and experiences with it. It's a horrible condition to have and can cause weight gain, infertility, hair loss, hair growth in places you really don't want and irregular periods. I am getting to the age where I really want to have a baby and at the moment that isn't happening due to PCOS. I am hoping that losing weight will help me on my journey to motherhood as well as becoming healthier and happier too of course. 

Take up some form of exercise
This resolution is going to be difficult, I am prepared for that. My JJ breasts, bad back and hip make it difficult to exercise, but it's not impossible. I've already looked into what exercises I could hopefully manage. I am actually quite excited to get started, I'm going to start off exercising about 4 times a week early in the morning before work. Hopefully, you'll get some weight loss updates as the year goes on. Please cross your fingers for me, this is a huge deal to me!

Read More
I love reading, although I only seem to have time to read the books that I am reviewing for this blog. I now have a bookcase full of books that I have bought or that other people have bought for me. My collection of books has been gradually getting bigger and for some reason like most book addicts, I keep on adding to it. With the addition of Netflix and Amazon Prime to our household last year, I feel like I've favoured watching series and films over reading at times, which is a shame because when I was younger I would read a book a week, sometimes more. I really want to put a big dent in my personal reading list this year alongside the books I am reviewing. I am really excited to spend my nights curled up with a book and a cup of tea.
Blog More
I plan on blogging so much more this year. I wasn't able to blog as much as I wanted too last year for one reason or another but this year I hope things are different. Later on in the year, we'll have a car and I can't wait to go on more days out that I can write about and drive to locations to shoot photos for fashion posts. Like I've already said, I want to create a posting schedule like I used to have and stick to it, or try too!
I am well aware my blog isn't the best but I am excited to grow in confidence with it, try new things and carry on blogging about products I enjoy and personal experiences I've had. I love that my Husband has also started blogging too over on Pizza and Chips Blog. Even though he's always been super supportive of me blogging it means he understands more about it now, we have a common interest and we can help each other out with photos etc. It's fun to discuss post ideas and support each other.
Have you got any New Years Resolutions? Let me know below, I'd love to read them.

Contact: roardinosaurblog@outlook.com
Twitter: @roardinosaur_
Instagram: @roardinosaurblog
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Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Judy Luxury Bracelet Review

   Hi Everyone!

Today I am reviewing a gorgeous bracelet from Judy Luxury. As some of you know I work for a fashion jewellery company and part of my job is keeping my eye out for the latest trends. I am also no stranger to designing and making my own jewellery, you could say I am a bit jewellery obsessed. I love how accessories can make an otherwise dull outfit something more special.

 I was a little worried when I took the bracelet out of its box as it looked quite small but thankfully it does fit my wider wrists which is good as sometimes bracelets can be a little small on me. You can adjust the size accordingly which I appreciate. My first impressions were that it was really pretty and quite different to anything else I own, and I own ALOT of jewellery!
Sometimes bracelets with charms annoy me a little as they can be heavy, get in the way and catch on your clothes. This bracelet doesn't though, it's very lightweight and comfortable to wear. At times I forgot I was wearing it.
I really enjoy the design of this bracelet, it reminds me a little of the Louis Vuitton print. I like that it mixes a dainty fine chain with chunky floating charms along the bracelet. The design includes a mixture of gold, silver and rose gold colours which means it would compliment any other jewellery you might wear with it. Although this bracelet would look equally beautiful worn alone and would make an ideal piece to wear on a night out teamed with a little black dress, but would also look great dressed down with jeans and a shirt. The fact it is such versatile piece makes it worth owning in my opinion.
You can get your own bracelet Here
This would make a special gift for someone if you are on a budget but still want to buy something pretty and different. Judy Luxury also sells Handbags, Jewellery, Wallets and Belts. There are some really beautiful pieces to suit all budgets. I highly recommend them!

* I was sent this bracelet in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Contact: roardinosaurblog@outlook.com
Twitter: @roardinosaur_
Instagram: @roardinosaurblog
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Thursday, 7 December 2017

Morphe 3502 Second Nature Palette Review

My Husband bought me the Morphe 3502 Second Nature Palette for Christmas but decided to gift it to me early so I could photograph and review it here. He is great right? I think it's worth mentioning that he has just made his own blog Pizza and Chips Blog We've been busy setting it up since the summer and now he's ready to take the leap and upload his first blog post. Please give him a follow on social media and check out his blog.
Instagram: @pizzaandchipsblog Twitter: @pizzachipsblog

Ok, on with the review! This was my first Morphe palette, so I really didn't know what to expect. I'd heard rave reviews about this palette, but I have heard rave reviews about other products before and have been very disappointed when I've tried them out. But let's face it, the shades in this palette are right up my street so I kind of expected that I would love it! If you like warmer toned eyeshadows then this baby will have you swooning! With shade names like sizzle, ablaze, Fire, Terra Cotta and Toast you can imagine the sort of colours that grace this palette.
I have seen photos of the original 350 Morphe Palette and although it is beautiful, I definitely prefer the 3502. The 3502 introduces us to even warmer shades than in the previous palette and more variety of colour. The shades of the 3502 are a lot more rich, fiery and bold. For example, the shade Ruby is so bang on trend for this autumn/winter with red being the 'in' colour. It's shades like this that set it apart from other copper/brown palettes.

I won't lie, having to wait for good lighting in order to photograph the palette BEFORE I could swatch the colours was torture. When I finally did get to swatch them the pigmentation was immense! Although I know that you cant always rely on swatches to prove how pigmented an eyeshadow is going to be once applied, I am pleased to say that when it came to applying the shadows to my eyes the colours really were as popping as when I swatched them. But would they blend well and did they last?

Sorry about the quality of these swatch photos but I didn't want to edit them, I wanted to show you them as photographed, completely natural. They were taken next to a window in natural lighting.

I personally found the quality of these shadows as good as my Juvia's place Nubian palette, my most expensive palette. They are very creamy and like I mentioned before, incredibly pigmented. My favourite shades are Pure, Bronzie, Heat, Ruby, Polished, Stone and Whiz. I was happy to find a black 'Whiz' nestled in the palette, as this is something I do use and it's truly black, not a washy, patchy grey trying to black. I am pleased to say that both the mattes and shimmers in this palette are as pigmented as each other, as sometimes in palettes one is better quality than the other. Something I found was that a little goes a long way, so it's probably best to use a light hand and build up your look rather than apply too much and have to start over. They blend beautifully and lasted all day, even after I'd been at work they still looked nice.
The price of the Morphe 3502 is £23.00 (Which equates to mere pence per shade) with free postage from Beauty Bay It is incredible value for money, considering the quality and amount of shadows you get. Unfortunately, there was no mirror included in the palette. I always like it when brands include mirrors, but given the price, that can be forgiven this time! I like the simple black slimline packaging. This would be the perfect palette to take on holiday in your suitcase as it would take up next to no room among your clothes and bits 'n' bobs!

I highly recommend the Morphe 3502 Second Nature Palette. I know I am going to get a lot of use out of it. It's my perfect warm toned palette.

Do you own this palette? What do you think of it?

Contact: roardinosaurblog@outlook.com
Twitter: @roardinosaur_
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Sunday, 19 November 2017

How to know when your makeup is past its best!

It's likely that you already know how to check for this, but just in case you don't I decided to write this post because I didn't know, so I figured there must be other people who don't too!

When I was sorting through some old makeup recently I realised that I had quite a few lip-glosses and lipsticks that I'd had for years, but they still had plenty of product in them. Were they ok to use? I knew there was a way of telling when your makeup expires, but I think I was looking for an actual expiry date printed on the back like with food! I embarked on a little research, well, just a google search actually and I am happy to say I finally know!

We've all used makeup that is old and has definitely 'gone off,' for a lot of us the first makeup we ever used was our mother's old eyeshadow that we kept for about 10 years! Don't get me wrong, your 10 year old eyeshadow isn't going to kill you, but makeup will harbour bacteria over time and it won't perform as well as it is intended too. So, If you think about it we should really take more notice of when our makeup is passed it's best. For example, lipgloss and liquid lipsticks are applied to our mouth using the applicator and then the wand is put back into the bottle. After time your products are bound to have a lot of bacteria growing inside them. Yuck!

We all know to replace our mascara after a few months, but how long should we use our foundation or face powder before replacing that? This is where the PAO symbol comes in useful, the PAO symbol which stands for Period-after-opening tells you the recommended time you should use your makeup by after you first open it. The symbol is usually on the back of the packaging and is pictured as an open cosmetics pot with a number inside followed by an 'M', so, if it is recommended that you use your foundation within 12 months after you've first opened it, it will appear as 12M inside the open pot symbol. If you didn't already know this then once you realise what this symbol means you won't believe that you didn't before!

I've included some photos I took of the PAO symbol on the back of two makeup products I own. I've tried to blur out the rest of the writing so it's just the symbol in focus:

If you use a diary or have a calendar it might be worth making a note of when you open a new product and write down when you need to replace it. For example, I just bought a few new foundations to test out and review, so I am going to write down in my 2018 diary when they need replacing. Would I use them after this date? Yes, probably for a few months, if there was a lot of product left. But I now know makeup doesn't last forever and shouldn't be kept for years!
Do/Will you take any notice of the PAO symbol?
 Love Roar Dinosaur!
Contact: roardinosaurblog@outlook.com
Twitter: @roardinosaur_
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