Monday, 24 November 2014

The Christmas Tag

I got this tag from Milk Bubble Tea, and well, 'tis almost the season I guess...

1. What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s?
I don't really have a favourite, I'm not a big Christmas movie person. My mum loves them but eh, guess I missed out on that gene. I do quite like The Santa Clause though, so I'll say that.

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
Christmas morning! I'd feel weird opening them sooner.

3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
I can't think of any that really jump out, I just really like being able to sit around with the whole family.

4. Favourite festive food?
I'm getting rather fond of sprouts, and I do usually steal the crispy bacon from the top of the turkey. Really my plate is mostly a mountain of broccoli. I'm a sucker for festive sweets though, and fruit cake. The fruit cake is probably my favourite, I just hate to admit it.

5. Favourite Christmas gift ?
My iPod. Of recent years anyway, Cards Against Humanity was also an awesome present from my sister. Had things been different I would have been talking about the necklace I got from my ex, but eh c'est la vie.

6. Favourite Christmas scent?
Oooh, I like the winter spice candles that come out this time of year. And back in the day when she used to still cook I loved the smell of my grandma's fruit cake. It was fruity and boozy and just wonderful.

7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
Not really. When I was little we used to put out the stockings and the sacks for Santa to fill with presents, but at 23 I'm a little too old for that now. Mostly I try to get a reasonably early night.

8. What tops your tree?
At present nothing, we don't have an indoor tree any more at home and I don't have one in Bolton. We used to have an angel on top though if I remember correctly. It's been a few years. If I do get a tree for Bolton I think I'm going to try and find a Weeping Angel or a bat to stick on it, if that fails I'll make a star.

9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?

A horse/pony. I asked for one for Christmas and my birthday every year for aaaages. Never happened. I still don't have my own horse! I did get horse riding lessons though, which was nearly as good. (I am joking, I really appreciated the riding lessons and they're still one of the greatest things I ever did.)

10. What's the best part about Christmas for you?
Spending time with family, and seeing family members I don't get to see very often like my aunt and uncle. And the Doctor Who Christmas special.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

A-Z of Me: F


Fire – Fire is a big part of my life, my mum works in Fire Safety writing standards and doing certification for products and factories, I was brought up in and around her work. Now I'm a grown up my PhD is also in Fire Sciences, specifically Fire Materials Science formulating phosphorous based flame retardant coatings. Plus, what's not to love about fire? Aside from the whole burning thing. It looks stunning and I adore the smell of woodsmoke.

February - my birth month had to get a mention on an A – Z of me!

Fears – I have a few fears, mostly they're pretty run of the mill; I'm not a massive fan of heights, or at least heights where I'm not fully secured so really it's more a fear of falling than heights themselves, I do get super nervous standing on wobbly chairs. I'm not too big on clowns or spiders either, and now my grandparents are old I am forever in fear of them dying though again I imagine that's fairly normal. But for slightly odder ones I'm scared of phone conversations. If you make me ring someone I will end up in a wobbly, half-tearful mess, especially if anything goes even slightly wrong with the call. I hate phones, with a passion, I'll text or email instead wherever possible.

Fossils – growing up I was fascinated with fossils and fossil hunters, tying in to my fascination with dinosaurs and the prehistoric world. I remember going fossil hunting on the Isle of Wight and religiously watching a video we had about dinosaurs and fossil hunting (it was 3D, with the funny red and blue glasses).

Friday, 21 November 2014

Friday Favourites

This will be the last Friday Favourites for a while, since I'm off overseas. Sorry guys.

Blog Love:

Other things I've been loving this week:

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Common Brimstone Reviews pt 2

This is the second part of my Common Brimstone haul. As before scent 'reviews' are very hard to do, as everyone's nose is different (mine is quite poor I admit) and everyone's skin will react differently to different notes. So do take my experiences with these scents with a massive crater full of salt as yours may be completely different. I tried my best to review these without looking at the scent notes, but I did double check over them later to help me identify and name some of the scents I was pretty vague about in my brain.

Blackwood Sugar - “You will be wondering about that sugar bowl, I imagine, is it still in use? You are wondering, has it been cleaned? You may very well ask, was it thoroughly washed?” - We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Shirley Jackson

Poison, fire, and a bowl of sugar - just a few of the key ingredients of Shirley Jackson's classic Southern Gothic novel, We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Take a pinch of white and brown sugar, mix in fiery ginger, clove, and cinnamon, and add a base of smoky oakwood CO2 and you've got yourself a bowl of Blackwood Sugar. Just be sure there are no hidden extra, say, a spoonful of arsenic...

This is a sweet and smokey scent on me, with just a touch of something incensey and maybe a little acidic in there. As it dries it matures into more of a burnt sugar scent which is equally lovely, though I imagine could be fairly polarising as not everyone likes that smell.

Bonfire Night - Bonfire Night. The singularly British tradition of reminiscing fondly on that one time terrorists tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Well, for me November 5th was always more about fireworks, toffee apples, and writing your name in the air with sparklers. This nostalgic scent captures those memories perfectly, with hints of baked apples and marshmallows spiked with warm cinnamon. There's a dollop of sticky toffee and orange peel on top, and a whisper of woodsmoke underneath. A wonderful scent for welcoming these cold winter nights!
This starts as a sweet spiced apple on me, a little like cinnamon apples but less heat and more apple. Once it dries down and settles fully it turns into more of a spicy scent and I can start to smell some of the smoke in there, which gets a bit stronger as the apple starts to wear off, but it never appears as a prominent note for me which I kind of hoped it would.

Mongolian Death Worm - From the heart of the Gobi desert comes the acid-spitting Mongolian Deathworm (maybe). My version is a little safer but be warned! It starts out strong with almond, frankincense, cinnamon and cardamom, but mellows out beautifully with vanilla and palmarosa. Not a scent for the weak of heart. I have it on good authority that this scent may turn people around you into cannibals...
Chai Tea, this scent is all chai tea on me and it stays that way, though it does soften a little as it fades but I never really sense a change. That's not to say that you won't, can't say my nose is very good. I really love the smell of chai tea so this is a brilliant one for me.

Grave Digger - A foggy night...a dirty job...a flask of cider to keep the cold at bay. Grave Digger is an earthy blend of oud and cedarwood, scattered with fresh-fallen leaves and the scent of clove. If you pay close attention, you'll catch a whiff of tobacco and a healthy splash of spiced cider.
The best way I can describe this scent is like a winter mulled cider, if you've ever had the Rekorderlig Winter Cider then it smells a lot like the warmed version of that only without the alcohol kick at the end. As it dries down on me, more of the spice notes come out. I don't get any of the fallen leaves, which is a shame as that was one of the notes I was most looking forwards to.

Duskblade - Inspired by the first Dungeons & Dragons character I created, this is a spicy floral blend of violet, plum, and black pepper, with hints of leather, a touch of vanilla to soften it up and a smidge of black musk to finish. Gives you a definite bonus on charisma.
This starts off smelling very perfumey, which is possibly the florals but it smells very artifical, even the most high-end perfumes do. Once it's no longer wet on the skin the “perfumeyness” settles and it starts to smell more floral. This is also when the spicy pepper notes come through which gives the perfume plenty of heat.

Constance - “I wonder if I could eat a child if I had the chance."
'I doubt if I could cook one,' said Constance.” - We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Shirley Jackson

Sweet, poor, patient Constance. Indulgent, caring and forever baking tasty treats in the kitchen of Blackwood, hiding from the cruelties of the outside world. My tribute to Constance is a comforting bakery blend of cookie dough, fresh baked bread, rich butter cream, butter, and a cup of white tea with a sprinkling of sugar. As sweet as the lady herself!

Starts off as a lovely buttery bakery scent with milk similarity to Vampire Hunter, but then pretty quickly settles into something floral on me. It's a massive shame because I'd love to smell like a bakery! I still have no idea where all the floral came from, my skin hates me.

My favourites from this are Mongolian Death Worm and Blackwood Sugar, though I quite like Bonfire Night and Grave Digger as well. Constance is the only one that really didn't work for me at all.

All of these can be purchased from Common Brimstone, either as full bottles for £5 or as part of a sample pack.

Monday, 17 November 2014

USA Wishlist

Apologies for the lateness of this post today, internet issues.

This weekend I'm going to be jetting off to the States for three weeks of rest and fun, visiting Vegas, Florida and New Orleans, while I'm out there I figured I might as well do some shopping and get my hands on some of those awesome little bits and pieces that we don't get over here in the UK. First up are the two biggest 'drugstore' names I've heard recently, especially as it's extremely unlikely I'll be in Sephora and even more unlikely that I'll be willing to part with that number of dollars for an eyeshadow or lipstick
1. Wet n Wild Fergie Take on the Day primer. People are always talking about how amazing this is, and while I may have just picked up a Smashbox primer in October (pre convention) it can never hurt to have a lot of primers right?
2. NYX Jumbo Pencil Milk. Alright, it's another primer/base type thing but everyone keeps saying this is amazing.
There's also still always the possibility I'll pick up some Essie or Sally Hansen polishes, as last time I went to the states (two years ago) I grabbed a bottle of Shine of the Times in Target for $7. Which I still have and love deeply.

As we'll be off galavanting around the Disney and Universal parks while we're in Florida I thought I'd check out the online rundown or the kinds of things I could pick up there and single out a couple of things to keep an eye on.
1. Hogwarts House Badges to show my nerdy house pride. I'm kind of a Ravenclaw/Hufflepuff hybrid. I like learning about all kinds of things but I'm not that smart, and I like to think that I'm kind and loyal. Honestly I'd probably be put in Hufflepuff.
2. WAND! This is Bellatrix's, and it is stunning. It's the best colour and shape, and Bellatrix is amazing.
3. Jack Skellington Ornament I'm not really a Christmas person, but I do like Jack Skellington and this is pretty cute.
If I have enough spare money I'll more than likely be picking up some Haunted Mansion and Dragon related things too. Because it's never too early or too late for spooky stuff and who doesn't love dragons?!

Other bits and bobs I'm hoping to pick up include Splenda, US version. I'm sorry, it's probably so very bad for me, but dear god that stuff is like crack. It's the extra sweetness. I have one hell of a sweet tooth.
Some stuff from Hot Topic, because Hot Topic.
I may well also pick up a souvenir or two from New Orleans, I'm hoping to grab something Voodoo related or otherwise spooky, and maybe some cocktail related souvenirs as my sister and I plan on doing a little drinking while we're out there if we can.

Have you ever been to New Orleans or Orlando Disney and Universal parks? Do you have any must-do things for me, or must buys while I'm out there?