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Monday, 16 October 2017

Out Of The Woods Book Review

 
* As some of you who regularly read my blog know, I suffer from depression and anxiety and have done since childhood. I have shared a few posts about it on this blog and plan on sharing more in future. It can be difficult discussing something so personal that for some reason still holds so much stigma, so when someone does discuss it, I have so much admiration for them. Brent Williams new book is brave, unique and very much needed.

Brent begins by detailing his initial feelings of helplessness, hacking his way through the heart of a dark, overgrown and overbearing forest, trying to find his way out to freedom again. Brent really nailed the descriptions of what it feels like to have depression and anxiety. As I initially flipped through it on arrival I found myself nodding along and agreeing with what he had written. I related to it so much. 

 


I don't normally enjoy graphic novels, but this one really appealed to me because of the subject matter. Within a couple of pages I was totally hooked. I've included some photos of the pages as I wanted to show you how amazing these illustrations truly are. As an illustrator myself, I can only imagine taking on the huge task of hand drawing and painting 700 illustrations. Korkut Oztekin's work is so moving, expressive and perfectly compliments Brent's words. I recommend checking out Oztekin's other work.
 


 I don't want to spoil the book for you by revealing too much of what happens, but I will say you go on a real journey with Brent in this book. At times I wanted to cry, not only for the unfairness of his story but for the unfairness for all of us who suffer from mental illness. It made me think about my own journey and how far I've come and how far left there still is too climb. 



Not only would Out Of The Woods appeal to book lovers but also to those who struggle with big blocks of text, it can be hard to focus on heavy going books when you are suffering from depression, sometimes you just can't concentrate. Something else that I think is great about this book is that it could be read by both older and younger audiences. I discovered I had depression at a very young age and I think this book would have really helped me understand and explore the feelings I was having as opposed to some of the heavy going books I read at the time.
 
As well as being the perfect book for those suffering, it would also be great for friends and family to borrow or buy to better understand the feelings and actions of having a mental illness. The images almost make the words sink in better. 

 I highly recommend this book if you are suffering from a mental illness or just want to clue yourself up. It's a beautifully designed hardback book and is an interesting, deeply personal, fresh take on the usual books about depression. I feel very lucky to have been given the chance to review this for my blog and I shall treasure the copy that was sent to me. 
 
Out Of The Woods is out now! You can buy yourself a copy Here

* This book was kindly sent to me to review. All opinions in this post are my own!


Love Roar Dinosaur!

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Tuesday, 10 October 2017

147 Things Review

* I am someone who is shy and awkward so in a social situation, you'll usually find me either trying to make people laugh or throwing some facts into the mix. People usually start to glaze over and look for an exit from the conversation, but I find it interesting, I always have!

 
So imagine how excited I was to get my hands on Jim Chapman's new book, 147 Things! The back reads:

'I wanted to write a book about how exceptional, fascinating and bloody strange this thing we call life is.

That turned out to be exactly 147 things. Some are deep and important, others are ridiculous and seem inconsequential, but they all have their place in my life and it wouldn't surprise me if they find a place in yours, too...'

There are 147 facts or 'things' as they are called in the book. I absolutely loved this book and read it in two sittings. It might seem weird but it made me feel a bit better about my life. (There's even a section called Reasons To Be Cheerful.)
As you might know, I suffer with depression and anxiety and Jim's book made me look at life a little differently. Life is actually really amazing, weird and precious. For example, the fact that you were one of 300 million other sperm that reached the egg means your existence is no accident, right? (That fact is from Thing 136 by the way!)

Ever wondered about the composition of eye bogies? Why honey bees' testicles explode after they use them? And why do men have nipples? It's all here in 147 things. This book is made up of most of the answers to my google search history! It's good to know there are people out there who think like me.
 
If you're someone who's not that into facts I'm sure you'll still love this book. Don't assume it's a boring read. It's actually written in a very chatty, down to earth way and includes lots of Jim's personal stories which were often really funny!
 
I would definitely say this book is geared towards an adult audience as within the first few pages Jim tells us the hilarious story of how he once tried to wax his balls, which went terribly wrong! So if your looking for stocking fillers for a ten-year-old Youtube lover maybe give this a miss!
  
As always I like to talk about the look of a book - I'm a book illustrator, so it's important to me ok?! The book is very eye-catching and I really like the design. It includes some great line illustrations too, some of which are hilarious,
They fit the tone of the book really well.
 
In case you were wondering my favourite thing was number 76, why? Because it's about Jurassic Park and Velociraptors of course! And Dinosaurs are just awesome!

I highly recommend this book, you'll be able to impress your friends with all the new facts you learn. I for one will be getting this book out on Christmas day around the dinner table!
 

You can buy this book NOW Here
Jim Chapmans Youtube Channel Here
Audio book version Here


* I was sent a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review- Although all views are my own.


Love Roar Dinosaur!
Contact: roardinosaurblog@outlook.com
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Sunday, 8 October 2017

September Faves


 

 As usual, my monthly faves are late, there's a bit of a pattern forming each month isn't there?! I hope you had a lovely September. Mine was ok but I am all about October onwards. This is my time of year, autumn leaves, hot chocolate, cosy blankets, Halloween and then Christmas! But this is a post about September so here are some things I loved last month...
 
Tripod for my phone
 
I want to start introducing more fashion posts to the blog. I have started to pay more attention to what I wear as my new job is to do with fashion. I thought it would be fun to start sharing more outfits that I buy. Next year we'll have a car so I'll be able to go to more locations to take better photos as well. So with all this in mind, I decided that instead of bothering my poor Husband to take my photos, it would be nice to have more control and take my own photos when I can.
 
I found a tripod on ebay with a little remote control that connects via Bluetooth to your phone so you can take photos from a distance away, making it perfect for taking outfit photos. The base of the tripod also folds away and can be used as a selfie stick if you're into those.
 
I'm so happy with this purchase and at £7.49 it's an absolute bargain!
 
You can get one Here
 
Modern Family
 
Where have I been? In September my Husband and I discovered the sitcom Modern Family. It's a hilarious American comedy which takes a look at three different families, part of one big family. It is filmed in the style of a mokumentary and had us in stitches! So much so, I bought the boxset for my Husband for his birthday!
 
Camera bag from ASOS
 
I call this my blogger bag, but it's actually called a 'camera bag' from Asos.
I bought this little bag to carry around my new tripod and phone etc. It's so cute and great for the day but equally, it would also make the perfect evening bag with the gold hardware and quilted front. I think I am going to wear this for the works Christmas do!
 
£18.00
You can get one Here
 
* Book: Sleigh Ride With The Single Dad
 
 
As usual as a Mills&Boon insider I have a book to share with you again this month:
 
I have to be honest the title and especially the cover artwork wasn't my favourite. I feel like a Christmassy Manhattan scene or just a Manhattan skyline would have been better. However, the story itself is good, which is what matters after all!
 
Grace and Charles go way back. They were at university together when they were training to be doctors. After sharing a passionate night together, due to circumstance they sadly lost touch, despite having an incredible connection. They both ended up marrying other people, Grace ends up divorced and has battled and survived breast cancer. While Charles lost his wife during childbirth. He's now left juggling working in a hospital and bringing up his twins.
 
It's at this hospital they bump into each other again after Grace takes a job there. It's evident, more or less straight away that there is still a massive spark between them. As the story goes on the two become closer. But will they give into temptation after all they've both been through?
 
Charles' twins were adorable and there was some laugh out loud moments involving them. I think they added a light hearted-ness to a story that at times included some heartbreak.
 
It was lovely reading about New York as I've never been. It also got me the mood for Christmas, my favourite time of year.
  
I liked that the author used medical jargon as although I didn't always understand it, it made it feel more authentic and felt easier to imagine a story set in a hospital. This was the first book in Mills&Boon Medical romance series I have read.
 
Both characters had suffered a lot and have come out the other side changed and deserving a second chance in love. It was such a feel-good book and I finished it with a smile on my face.
 
Available in Kindle and paperback Here
 
* Anything marked with a * was kindly sent to me to review, although this doesn't affect my opinion in any way.
 
What were your September favourites? Tell me below!
 
Love Roar Dinosaur!
Contact: roardinosaurblog@outlook.com
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Friday, 29 September 2017

Primark PS Brush Cleaner Review

Soft, fluffy, clean brushes are the best, aren't they? But let's face it, cleaning them can be a real pain. We are all aware that having clean makeup brushes is a must in order to stop spreading bacteria around our faces which can cause breakouts, but when you have a spare 20 minutes to yourself the last thing you want to do is spend it standing over the sink cleaning damn brushes, am I right?

Previously before buying this nifty little tool I was just using antibacterial soap and swirling the brushes over my hands, which did the job reasonably well but I never felt like my brushes were getting a deep down clean and getting all the product out, plus it was so time-consuming, there had to be an easier way...
 
 
I've wanted the Primark PS Brush Cleaner for ages but each time I have looked for it I couldn't find it. Even my Husband knew what to look out for! It was him that actually found and bought it for me. It's only £1.50...Yes, you read that right! Plus it's pink so that's always a winner!

I'm pretty sure it's made of silicone, so it's really easy to keep clean. It has groves and raised dots which help bring the makeup out of your brushes quickly and easily. Simply add a little of your preferred brush cleaner, such as baby shampoo or soap and gently scrub your brush against the silicone cleaner, periodically running it under the tap to wash away the residue makeup.
 
 
I highly recommend this product. It's so good that some of the brushes in my collection that I previously thought were stained beyond repair are now back to their original colour!

Have you got the Primark PS Brush Cleaner? What do you think of it? Tell me below!
 
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The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice book review

The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice: Volume 1 (Angel Aid)
By Katarina West
                
 
 
I received this book from the lovely author Katarina West a few months ago and although I can imagine this book was targeted towards summer beach readers I can equally imagine curling up on the sofa this autumn in front of a roaring fire with a hot chocolate in one hand and this wonderful book in the other. This is the first book in Katarina's Angel Aid series, and quite frankly I cannot wait for the next one!

 
This was such an interesting read. It was a really unique and different story which mainly focuses on three characters: Irene and Mimi, two very different women with two very different lives. And Aaron, an angel! The book is an emotional rollercoaster and had me laughing out loud one minute and almost crying the next.
 
 
Katarina's book challenges what we've previously read about angels and the afterlife. I found the Angel parts of the story quite comedic at times. They are nothing like classic traditional angels, these are very human, especially Aaron, an angel who doesn't quite fit in and loves a good prank. Although at times I didn't really like Aaron or understand him and his actions, his intentions were rooted in good.
 
 
Irene was my favourite character, I found her really relatable and I was rooting for her from the very beginning. At the start of the book, we find poor Irene Nylander on her 50th birthday, sad and lonely, hating the way she looks and her only company is her horrible mother in law who she has to look after as Irene's Husband is always away on business. The only bit of escapism from her unhappy life is watching rom-coms and reading about her favourite celebrities in glossy magazines, wishing she had their lives. My heart broke for her!
 
 
For her birthday, Irene has arranged to go out for a meal with her best friend Saara, who stands her up due to work. Upset and fed up Irene decides to go to the restaurant alone. Except when she gets there, she sees her Husband, who was supposed to be away, having a romantic meal with none other than Saara. Devastated, Irene flees the restaurant and drives home. Hysterical, she wants to die.
 
Up in little heaven, while Aaron the Angel is monitoring humans and looking for any emergencies that the Angels can intervene with. He sees and feels Irene's desperation, sadness, and shock. A wave of compassion runs through him and he wants to help. Although Irene is asking to die, he knows she doesn't mean it, she just doesn't want to live her life. Aaron gets the idea of wanting to give her another life, one she deserves. The other angels excitedly get in on things and all discuss how they'd love to give Irene the body and life of the kind of person Irene looks up too, someone like rising Hollywood star Mimi Kavanough. Stunning, slim and confident, she's everything Irene wishes to be. The Angels snap out of things and remember that interfering with human lives in such a way is against humans free will and against their rules. However once all the Angels leave the room, Aaron remains. Stuck halfway between wanting to help and perform some trickery, Aaron manages to convince himself this body swap would be a great idea. He begins saying the prayers to make it be.
 
 
At that exact moment, Mimi is sunning herself and being wooed aboard a yacht owned by Riccardo a billionaire playboy. And she's just received a call from her agent telling her she's the next bond girl!
As an ecstatic Mimi comes to terms with how her life is about to change, she hears a voice in her head telling her to jump. Hypnotised, she jumps into the sea. At the same time, Irene also crashes her car.
 
 
Irene wakes up feeling different. She crashed her car, why is she not in a hospital? Is the other driver ok? Suddenly she notices the luxury surrounding her and a good-looking man sat next to her bed. When she looks in the mirror she's in a different body...the body of actress Mimi Kavanough. At the same time, Mimi wakes up in a hospital, feeling tired and old in Helsinki. Even though those around her are speaking a different language, she understands every word. When she looks into a hand mirror, vain, image obsessed Mimi screams.
 
 
The two women are total opposites in every sense of the word. Mimi is strong-willed and will not be taken for granted, whereas Irene is downtrodden and at an all-time low. It is so interesting to see how they both deal with the changes Aaron has bestowed upon them. Even though it is obviously fiction, I couldn't help but imagine myself in that situation. What would I do? What would it be like?
 
How will the two strikingly different women cope living each other's lives? And Is the grass always greener?
 

 A lot of subjects are touched upon in this book. It's so different from any other book I've ever read before. It's a well-written, easy read and I couldn't put it down! I came away feeling really inspired and appreciating my life even more. This would make a great movie!
 
 
Also, as a book illustrator myself I always take into consideration how a book looks,  the cover design is a gorgeous and appealing design. All in all, I enjoyed spending time in the wonderful story that katarina has cleverly woven and brought to life. I can't wait for the next book in the series.

You can find Katarina west Here and her twitter: @WestKatarina
You can get yourself a copy Here
*This book was very kindly sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Love Roar Dinosaur!
Contact: roardinosaurblog@outlook.com
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Wednesday, 20 September 2017

How To Help Your Nail Polish Last Longer

Most of us love to wear Nail varnish but it can be infuriating as it often peels as soon as you've applied it!
 
We all think that we know how to paint our nails but sometimes we haven't actually applied it correctly, then we get angry that our nail varnish is peeling within an hour of applying!
 
I work with my hands every day and this is what I do to ensure my polish stays (mostly) chip-free for up to a week.
 
What I use:
 

* Cuticle oil (I use Moringa Oil which I reviewed Here)
Avon nail and cuticle cream Here
Hand soap
Cuticle Pusher
Cuticle softner (Optional)
Nail file
Base Coat (Or you can use top coat)
Your chosen nail colour
Top coat
Nail Varnish remover
Cotton pads
 
This is a lengthy process so I recommend watching your favourite series or a film while you do this! Start off by removing any old polish then wash your hands, clean with a nail brush over your nails and underneath the free edge to ensure you have a clean base to work with.
 
Then cut and file your nails to the desired shape and length.
 
If you're using a cuticle remover or cuticle softener now is the time to apply it. Then take a cuticle pusher and gently push back your cuticles. You also want to remove any dead skin on nail surface this will help your nail varnish adhere properly. You can then also take cuticle nippers and remove any nail tags. Please be gentle when doing this though, we don't want any injuries!
Once you've done the above wash your hands again with a nail brush and soap to get rid of any debris or oils on your nails so that your nail varnish will adhere properly, this is an important step!
 
Now take your base coat and apply a thin layer and allow to dry. This will give your nail varnish a good foundation to stick to and also protect your natural nails from staining.
 
Now apply a thin layer of your desired nail varnish, don't take the polish right down to the cuticle, as it will flood onto your skin. Wait till this is touch dry and then apply another coat. Your second coat is the coat that needs to be neat and even.
 
 
I like to leave this to dry for 20-25 minutes as the biggest problem is we often don't let nail varnish dry properly, we'll start messing about on our phone or eating, then complain when it smudges! Now after waiting apply your topcoat. Not only will this make your nails look super shiny it will also protect the varnish from chipping for longer. Now, wait another half an hour or longer.
 
Once everything is dry and I'm happy with it you can then remove excess polish which might have gone onto your fingers with an ear bud dipped in nail polish remover. Then apply a cuticle oil to your cuticles and fingers. I use the Wikaniko Moringa oil which I reviewed Here *
 
 
I would recommend applying more topcoat every day or every other day and leave to dry for about 20 minutes, this will help protect your colour for longer. Just remember to wash your hands before applying more polish so you have an oil-free surface for your new layer of polish to adhere too! I also recommend using cuticle oil and hand cream each night to give you nourished and moisturised hands.
 
And there you go! This won't guarantee your nail polish doesn't chip but it gives it a better chance to last longer. Mine tends to chip slightly at the free edge after about 4 days, but like I said I work with my hands every day.
 
I hope this helps you, this is the method I use and it works pretty well. Please leave any nail tips you have below!
*Any items marked with a * were sent to me in exchange for an honest review, however, this does not change my views.
 
 
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Monday, 11 September 2017

Very, Very late August Faves!

This favourites post is very late, sorry! I am slowly getting back into blogging after a couple of months off and have started writing out lots of posts for the coming months. Here's a list of things I loved in August and this month too! 
 
Also as a side note, my blog was one yesterday!
 
Avon Care Conditioning Cocoa Butter Hand, Nail & Cuticle Cream

With Cocoa Butter and Vitamin E, this is really moisturising and it smells gorgeous. I've been using this along with other things to help nourish and grow my nails (Which I will most likely write a post on) My tube seems to be XXL so I can see this lasting me forever! My Nan bought me this, she's bought me the body butter and body lotion in the same range too. I am a huge fan, they all smell divine!
 

Ted Baker, Pretty Pearl Mini Body Spray and Issey Miyake, L'Eau d'Issey Florale
I couldn't decide between both of these as I've been wearing both for over a month now. They smell beautiful. I have never tried either of these scents before so I was excited to try something new. Some perfumes can be too harsh on my skin and irritate me, but these haven't at all. Both perfumes have staying power, and I often get comments when wearing both throughout the day. They both have delicate floral scents. 
 
 
Juvia's Place, The Nubian Eyeshadow Palette
 
This palette is absolutely stunning. I wasn't really in the market for such an expensive purchase but I really wanted it and I figured it would last me a long time and will probably be one of the most expensive and good quality palettes I ever own. Plus I saw it as a little treat after starting my new job! There are 12 eyeshadows which consist of beautiful bronzes, berries, and chocolates. It's perfect for this time of year and I think would suit every skin tone! Before reviewing this I wanted to have a play around with it for a couple of weeks and see how versatile it is. You can create lots of different looks with The Nubian. From subtle looks to really bold, statement looks. There are 4 matte and 8 shimmers.
 
The shadows are highly pigmented and a little goes a long way. They last all day and into the night. Of course, they work best over an eyeshadow base and the shimmers would work well if you spray your brush with setting spray first. I highly recommend this gorgeous autumnal palette!
 
 
* Protecting His Defiant Innocent by Michelle Smart

As a Mills & Boon insider, I get sent books to read in exchange for an honest review. Due to being busy I haven't reviewed anything for a couple of months, but it was nice to lose myself in a book once again last month. I'm glad to be back on track and reviewing books again. Here are a few of my thoughts and a brief overview of the book:

I liked this story, it was a bit different and a good book to get me back into reading again. It held my interest and I liked the feisty and independent lead female character, Francesca.

After the tragic loss of her brother, Francesca is determined to carry on his charity work on a Caribbean island. As the baby of the family, her protective brothers hire ex-special forces soldier Felipe to be her bodyguard as she carries out her work in dangerous places and situations.

At times it can be hard to like Felipe, he can seem quite cold and controlling, but given his background that is understandable. He has a job to do and he has Francesca's best interests and safety at heart. The two characters are both very troubled due to their pasts. As I got deeper into the book I began to like his character more. Francesca is very independent and at times it is difficult for Felipe to do his job and look after her as she fights against him. This infuriates him as they both have differing opinions about safety. I like how they are equals, instead of her being portrayed as the weak damsel in distress. As their attraction grows, will Felipe throw his no getting close to clients rule out of the window?

The banter and chemistry between the two characters are well written and enjoyable. The story is fast paced and well written. The setting was different to the usual and I liked the conclusion and felt like I'd been on a journey with the two characters.
 
 
 
*Any items marked with a * were sent to me in exchange for an honest review, however, this does not change my views.
 
What have you been enjoying recently? Let me know below!
 
Love Roar Dinosaur!
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