Book Review: Alice In Wonderland

Book Review: Alice In Wonderland | Tea And Beauty

I am a massive Alice In Wonderland fan, I love the Disney film and I collect anything I can that is Alice related. I read this book back when I was a kid and decided it was time to re-read it and I am so glad I did, it was just as enjoyable to read the second time around. In fact once I got going I finished this book in two days.

It is full of fun and nonsense, there will be no need to sit here and try and explain or analyze the greater meaning of this book or the author's motives as it is just plain fun with no need to really think about what your reading. I have read reviews on this book and I have found that to many people try to delve into the story and analyze it, trying to explain the meanings or try and explain why things are written the way they are but by doing this they take away the fun and nonsense of the story and don't enjoy the silliness of the story. 

Alice falls down a rabbit hole, after chasing the white rabbit and comes across a wonderful land of silliness and nonsense. Whilst down there she comes across characters such as the Cheshire Cat, the Caterpillar, The Hatter and the Hare, The Mock Turtle and a Gryphon and lets not forget the King and Queen of Hearts. She battles between being to small or to big and questions if she is still the same person. 

It is certainly a fun book to read and I very much enjoyed it. My favorite character (apart from Alice) is definitely the Cheshire Cat. He is completely mad and he's the only character in the book who actually tries angering the Queen. 

There are quite a few characters in the book you come across that actually aren't in the Disney film. This is why the book is so good, it's a different story to the film really. You do come across some of the missing characters in the next book - Through The Looking glass.
If you love Disney and Alice In wonderland then you will certainly enjoy this book.


Ways To Help Stop Stress And Anxiety!

Ways To Help Stop Stress And Anxiety | Tea & Beauty

I find I get stressed quite easily - I am always working on my blog, even when I'm not working on it. There are always thought's and idea's going around my head. I home school my youngest and that's not including all the day to day cleaning etc. I do find sometimes it all gets on top of me so I need a good way to relax and de-stress.

I have a new love for colouring, most people associate colouring with children, but it is becoming quite popular now among adults. You can find lots of adult colouring books now from pretty flowers to vintage designs. I myself got extremely excited when looking through Amazon I happened to find a Alice In Wonderland Colouring Book. I absolutely LOVE anything Alice related so this was perfect for me. It only took 2 days to be delivered and of I went colouring it in. It is very detailed and fun to colour. You even have to find the 6 of hearts on each page. It is a great price at just £4.00.
This really does work for me I can spend ages just sitting there colouring all the pictures. As it's quite detailed you do find you spend quite a while on just one page, but I think this is good - who wants a colouring book they can be done with in a few days?

Alice In Wonderland colouring book

I also brought another colouring book this one is calming colouring nature patterns. It is full of flowers, trees and other nature patterns.

Ways To Help Stop Stress And Anxiety | Tea & Beauty

My other thing I turn to is an app I have recently found called Calm.
It basically helps you meditate everyday and it is supposed to help you relax, stop worrying and generally de-stress. You have four scenes you can play  - Beach waves, rain, silent clouds and a mountain lake with birds chirping. I personally use the beach waves, don't ask me why but I have always wanted to live by the beach plus it reminds me of when I went on holiday with my parents as a child, lying in bed at night in the caravan listening to the waves at the beach. So this really helps me out, in fact I can very easily nearly go to sleep whilst meditating to this. The app is free and there is also a book out, which I haven't actually finished reading yet.

Ways To Help Stop Stress And Anxiety | Tea & Beauty

Reading a book has always helped clear my mind, plus it gives you a chance to live in another world for half an hour. Pair this with a cup of tea and your on to a winner.

So here's how I de-stress and relieve any anxiety I may have building up.
What are your tips? Leave your comments below.

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Book Review: Grey

Book Review: Grey

I love the first three Fifty Shades Of Grey books, the film was good - not great but good! So when I heard that E L James was releasing another book called Grey I just had to pre-order it. It is basically Fifty Shades Of Grey in Christian's view.

See the world of Fifty Shades Of Grey anew through the eyes of Christian Grey.

In Christian's own words, and through his thoughts, reflections and dreams, E L James offers a fresh perspective on the love story that has enthralled millions of readers around the world.

Christian Grey exercises control in all things, his world is neat, disciplined and utterly empty - until the day that Anastasia Steele falls into his office, in a tangle of shapely limbs and tumbling brown hair. He tries to forget about her, but instead is swept up in a storm of emotion he can not resist. Unlike any woman he has known before, shy, unworldly Ana seems to see right through him - past the business prodigy and the penthouse lifestyle to Christian's cold, wounded heart.

Will being with Ana dispel the horrors of his childhood that haunt Christian every night? Or will his dark sexual desires, his compulsion to control, and the self-loathing that fills his soul drive this girl away and destroy the fragile hope she offers him?

My Review

This came through my letterbox on Thursday and by Monday morning I had finished reading it. I have really enjoyed reading this book. I think if you are a fan of the original books then you will enjoy this book to. It is basically the first book but in Christians's point of view - obviously!
There are things that have been left out that were in the first book but have been replaced by something that has happened or is happening in Christian's life. It was very interesting to read it from Christian's point of view. I know some people have said he comes across a bit whipped or a wuss at the end but I liked the end - the fact he was that upset at loosing her was nice to read, lets not forget Ana is the only girl who he has ever let get this close to him. He let her sleep in his bed, had 'vanilla' sex with and that's not including all the other things like the soaring and family dinner. He truly cared for her so why shouldn't he get a bit upset. People says it poorly written to but to be honest I didn't really think that, I really did enjoy this book and found myself sitting there thinking "just one more chapter". You find a little bit out about a few of the other 15 as well which is interesting as I certainly wondered what had happened or why they had parted. I did find myself slightly frustrated at Christian though at one point but that was down to his attitude about Anna and Mrs Robinson.
Overall I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of the first books.

You can find Grey on Amazon, if you hurry it is currently £3.85 on paperback.

Have you read it yet? If so what are your thought's on this book? If you aren't a fan tell us why not, what put you off? please leave your comments below.


Should We Be Worrying About Our Weight?

Getting into shape

I'll be completely honest now, I have been really struggling to carry on exercising recently. I am so busy with work, home schooling my youngest and just the normal day to day things that by the time I have 5 minutes to myself I just simply can't be bothered. 

However with summer just around the corner now the summer clothes are starting to make an appearance. However this week I was sent into a pit of depression when the three quarter denim shorts I brought just last summer didn't fit me, they wouldn't even do up!
This left me feeling really bad about myself and wishing I had really kept up the exercise. The thing is that when I am doing the school run to pick up my eldest son it is an hour's walk there and back, and I have to do this twice a day, so with a two hour walk 5 days a week clocking up 10,000 + steps whilst doing it I didn't feel that bad about slacking in the fitness department. However just walking alone obviously wasn't enough. My eating is quite good for the most part, yes I occasionally sit there munching on biscuits with my tea and have a bag of crisps with lunch but other than that I eat rather well. This now begs the question do we have to eat super healthy and exercise just to stay in shape?

I must admit I was quiet for a few days and kind of kept to myself, whilst my boyfriend was telling me that I was beautiful and wouldn't change anything about me (isn't he just the best). But I was actually thinking how much is this bothering me really? Yes it was not nice that I couldn't get into my size 10 shorts that I only brought and wore a year ago but at the same time I don't want to be stick thin or not enjoy eating a few biscuits with my tea after a long day or eat the cakes that we love to bake in our house. I am turning 30 in August and at this point shouldn't I just be happy with myself the way I am now? I eat a balanced diet and am generally active, I do lots of walking and I am always at the park with the boys whether it's playing at the playground or kicking the football around and I try to exercise at least 3-4 days a week doing cardio. So shouldn't this be enough, why do we let ourselves get depressed about weight and the way we look? we are who we are right?

So after a few days of sulking and feeling sorry for myself I've decided to forget all about it, So I'm not as small as I thought I was and my hips are a bit bigger than I imagined but most of my other size 10 jeans and skirts fit me and I still have a slight baby belly on me but at the end of the day I have a boyfriend who loves me for the way I am and two amazing kids. Why shouldn't I be happy? 

Weight and size are a big thing in the world these days and it's something I and probably everyone else has been through at some point. 
What are your thoughts on this subject? Leave your comments below.


Book Review: Girl Online

Girl Online Review

I have finally gotten around to reading Zoella's first novel - Girl Online. I know, I know it's been out a while but hey better late than never right? 

Penny has a secret..
Under the alias Girl Online, Penny blogs her hidden feelings about friendship, boys, her crazy family and the panic attacks that have begun to take over her life. When things go from bad to worse, her family whisks her away to New York, where she meets Noah; a gorgeous guitar strumming American. Suddenly Penny is falling in love - and capturing every moment of it on her blog.

But Noah has a secret too. One that threatens to uncover Penny's cover - and her closest friendship - forever.

My review

I actually read a few reviews before reading this and to be fair they were quite mixed, so I went ahead and started reading it. It's been a long time since I've read a proper romance story so it was a nice refreshing change. I found it was a nice easy read, you didn't really had to think to much whilst reading it and I found myself gravitating to a few characters as well and really disliking Megan, in fact I found myself getting quite angry at her at points in the book. Overall it was a lovely story of friendships and romance and I found myself thoroughly enjoying the story and quite disappointed when it finished. I will be looking forward to reading the second book. It was nice that everything Penny went through, she was not alone there was so many readers of her blog that was actually having the same thoughts and feelings. When things turned bad she knew who her friends were and she had the help of her brother and her parents. I really liked Noah...who knew his secret would be him being famous?! If you like your regular old romance books this is for you!

You can find Girl Online on Amazon for just £6.00.

Have you read it yet? What were your thoughts? Leave your comments below.


Parlor Moisturising Sea Salt Spray

Parlour by Jeff Chastain

I got this spray in last month's May Birchbox, and was rather excited to start using it. I have had my hair cut short a few months ago and was wanting to buy something like this for it.

It does say in the Birchbox leaflet you get to use 7-8 squirts and scrunch into hair. That is all you need otherwise your hair does feel slightly greasy. To use it they say to squirt into hair, comb through and dry hair by scrunching under the hair dryer without the nozzle. This will get you a lovely wave in your hair.
So I do this hoping to get that desired effect, Unfortunately this did not happen, there was a very slight wave but nothing to get overly excited about.

Parlour by Jeff Chastain

Parlour by Jeff Chastain

I did find however though that this does work well with heated hair curlers, spraying it before using them really helped to bring out a lovely curl. I might try it before putting in my velcro curlers and see if that has the same effect. The smell is lovely to, peaches mmm.
I figured it may be good if you wash your hair at night and spray it in before plaiting your hair maybe? You could wake up with lovely curls when you undo it in the morning to. I remember doing this every night when I was a kid, I always wanted curly hair, and funnily enough...I still do!

This is a Birchbox exclusive so you will only find it on the Birchbox website on the Parlor By Jeff Chastain Moisturising Sea Salt Spray page, it is £17.00 for a 147 ml bottle. Not sure if it's quite worth that much as you are supposed to just scrunch and dry. If you are having to use curlers or rollers doesn't that defeat the purpose?
If you would like to sign up to Birchbox why not use this code to get 50 Birchbox points when you sign up, that's £5.00 to spend.

Have you tried this spray yet? What are your thoughts? Leave your comments below.


June Birchbox

June Birchbox 2015

So yesterday was Birchbox day again, I was looking forward to getting it again as last months box was so good. This month you had a choice of 3 boxes - a floral, french theme and a sweet style. I decided to go with the From Paris With Love box.

As soon as I got my box I ripped straight into it to see what beauties lay within.

Balance me body wash

Iris Prima

Mild Dermabrasion face scrub

mirenese mascara

beauty protector oil

style london tattoos

french sole shoe bag

Balance Me Super Moisturising Body Wash - £9.00 
This I was excited to get as I have heard such good things about it. It has calming yarrow and patchouli plus shea butter. I tend to love anything with shea butter in it as it leaves my skin super soft. It says a little goes a long way, and they were right I used it last night whilst having a shower and I squeezed a little bit onto my shower puff and it covered my whole body and more. I was very impressed by that as it would last a long time and the price is great to. Birchbox say you don't necessarily need to moisturise after using this body wash if your in a hurry as it is hydrating enough, I can actually see where they are coming from as my skin felt quite soft after getting out the shower. I did moisturise though and my skin was so soft after, it's an amazing product, I am going to keep using it but after first use I may have found a new body wash. The smell is nice to it's a clean, fresh smell that is not over powering. 

Penhaligon's Iris Prima - From £85.00
I have so many perfume's but I read a post on this a few days ago so was quite excited to try it as they said they loved it. This perfume mingles bergamot top notes with musky sandlewood and sweet vanilla. I spritz some on this morning before leaving the house and to be honest I was actually a bit disappointed with it. It is not my usual floral, fruity scent it smelt very clean and fresh really. The good thing about this I noticed was there was a slight breeze this morning and every time it blew I could smell the perfume so that was nice. Come lunchtime though it had worn off so it hasn't even lasted half a day. For £85.00 I don't think it would be worth it unfortunately. 

Premae Mild Dermabrasion Face & Body Scrub - £25.00
A skin loving body scrub packed with Italian olive granules to decongest, brighten and smooth skin. Great! I love a good scrub and again I give my face a quick scrub with it this morning to give it a quick test and it was brilliant. It is quite coarse which I like, a good roughish scrub always does the trick. It worked well, my skin was pink after I had finished and there was a definite noticeable brightness to my skin and it felt lovely and soft afterwards. After I had slapped on my day cream my skin looked lovely. Very impressed with this scrub.

Mirenesse iCurl Secret Weapon 24hr Mascara - £24.00
Mascara is actually the one thing I don't need - I have loads in my make up bag so this was a bit disappointing as there was 2 different lip balms/sticks I could have had instead. 
Using secret weapon tubing technology this jet black formula coats and separates lashes for all day curls that wont clump, smudge or flake. Sounds good! I will be trying this very soon, I have long lashes naturally but they are not very thick however so I will be interested to see what this does for my lashes.

Beauty Protector Protect & Oil - £16.00
To be completely honest when I saw I had a hair treatment oil in my box I was not very impressed at all, I have used them before but due to my fine, thin hair they always leave my hair looking greasy again so I was not looking forward to using this. It leaves hair looking gorgeously glossy and protects against UV rays and heat damage - Ok lets give it a go!
I used 2-3 drops last night (so I could wash my hair this morning if it all went wrong) and dried my hair and shock horror! My hair looked glossy and healthy and not a grease patch in sight. This is definitely a product that has wowed me and for £16.00 a bottle it does seem worth it as you hardly need anything at all really, a few drops and comb it through and you are done. Again I will keep using it and update you all on my further thoughts.

STYLondon Temporary Metallic Tattoo's - £7.99
This was an unusual find in my box - I was not expecting to get anything like this. To be honest I'm not sure if I will use these really. It says you can use them on skin and nails so maybe I can find some use for them after all. Just cut off the tattoo you want peel off the clear sheet, attach to the skin and soak well in water and slide off the paper. They are easy to remove as well just using baby oil and scrub off.

Birchbox x French Sole Shoe Bag - Lifestyle Bonus
To celebrate Birchbox's collaboration with French Sole you get to pick the box style you want as mentioned before along with it's matching shoe bag as an extra bonus. It's a lovely little bag, just right for a pair of flats. I suppose you don't have to use it just as a shoe bag, a little weekend make up bag perhaps? 

I went from being a little disappointed with this month's Birchbox to actually turning out by being very impressed, it just goes to show you can't judge a book by it's covers. To keep up to date with my thoughts on the product's I haven't used and the ones I have follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

If you don't already have the monthly Birchbox and are thinking of signing up click here and get 50 points for joining with me that's a whole £5.00 to spend at Birchbox.

What are your thoughts on this box? What did you get in yours? Leave your comments below and I will reply.

Book Review: Pines

Pines - wayward pines novel review

I have been hooked on a new TV series called Wayward Pines featuring Matt Dillon, so when I heard they were actually books of course I had to start reading them. I have finished the first of the three books, this one is called Pines...

Secret service agent Ethan Burke arrives in Wayward Pines, Idaho, with a clear mission: locate and recover two federal agents who went missing in the bucolic town one month earlier. But within minutes of his arrival, Ethan is involved in a violent accident. He comes to in a hospital, with no ID, no cell phone, and no briefcase. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels…off. As the days pass, Ethan’s investigation into the disappearance of his colleagues turns up more questions than answers. Why can’t he get any phone calls through to his wife and son in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what is the purpose of the electrified fences surrounding the town? Are they meant to keep the residents in? Or something else out? Each step closer to the truth takes Ethan further from the world he thought he knew, from the man he thought he was, until he must face a horrifying fact—he may never get out of Wayward Pines alive.

My Review

I actually really like this book, I could feel myself thinking as I was reading it "oh yeah that's already happened". It was good to read the book as with all books it goes into a lot more detail than the TV series/movies. In places it was quite creepy and you have a sense of something being very very off with some of the characters. The only thing I can find to fault this book (without giving to much away) is that there is a part of the books where Ethan is up in the mountains, I did find this went on a little to long in the book. I get it was pivotal to the story and certain things happen whilst he is there but after a little while I did start wondering if this bit was going to finish soon. The ending shocked me as well I must be honest, I was not expecting it, which is always a good thing as it made me excited to read the next book. Have you read this book yet, if so what did you think? Who is watching the TV series? 

Amazon Kindle Paper-white

Kindle Paper White Review

My lovely boyfriend decided to buy me a kindle, more because he was sick of books lying around the house, oops but still it was something I was looking at getting myself anyway. He brought me the first paper-white Kindle as it was simple to use and said if I liked it and wanted to upgrade at Christmas I could.

It is extremely simple to use, which I like. The screen is great, it is not like reading off a computer screen at all it is actually like reading a book. Getting books on your Kindle is very easy to do you can either just download them from Amazon or if you already have the e-books then simple plug it into your computer, open up the documents folder and simply drag and drop. 

Amazon Kindle paper white

Amazon Kindle paper white

Amazon Kindle paper white

Amazon Kindle paper white

The buttons are at the bottom they take you to the home page, let you select what you need and lets you type when the keyboard is selected. There are buttons on the side that let you flip the page on the book you are reading. I like the back of this to, it has almost a rubberish effect to it which comes in great for gripping it as it is very slip proof. Meaning you are very unlikely to drop it.

To be honest I don't actually see me upgrading this at Christmas because I love this one so much. It's simple to use, comfortable to hold, and because I am only using it to read I don't see the point of getting the Fire for example. It is perfect for sticking in your bag and reading it whilst on the go and if you type in free kindle books in the Amazon search bar, there are at least 20 pages of free books to download and try...Bonus!
The price is great to you can get it from Amazon for just £59.00.

Do you have a Kindle? Which one do you have and do you love yours as much as me? 


Adidas Neo Trainers

Adidas Neo Trainers

It feels like quite a while since I wrote a fitness related post but since I brought some new trainers a few weeks ago, I thought it was time to get back to it.
My trusty converse finally gave up and I got a hole in the bottom, which I happened to find out whilst doing the school run in the pouring rain and got a wet sock due to said hole...not nice!

As I do a lot of walking, whether it be the school run, going to the park or just generally having a nice walk for exercise. I wear trainers more than any other footwear these days, plus they are super comfy, I decided it was time to buy another pair, I did consider getting another pair of converse but finally went with a proper pair of trainers. After going in to 3 different sports shops I finally found a pair I liked, and they were on sale....Bonus!

They happened to be these lovely Adidas Neo trainers, good job I have a bottle of Jif under my sink with these being so white, hopefully I can keep them white. 
I got these from DW Sports (keep calling it JJB and forgetting it's changed) for just £30.00 sale price.

I wore them out last week for the first time as it was half term and we took the kids out to the local soft play gym, then went to McDonalds for lunch and finished off by going to the local milkshake shop. So a lot of walking was done, 6332 steps in fact, thanks to my trusty Fitbit. 
They were very comfortable and cushioned my feet well, they didn't pinch my feet or rub.

I was very impressed with them and am certainly glad I brought them now, I am certainly going to be wearing them a lot with all the walking I do.

Planet Spa Amazonian Treasures Face Mask

Avon Amazonian Treasures

I usually use clay masks when it comes to my skin care routine as I find them to be really good and leaves my skin glowing after using them, However I stumbled across this face mask by Avon and wanted to give it a go as I have heard good things about it. 
First thing you notice is the purple gel like texture which actually feels quite nice on your skin. It goes on really well and spreads easily, leave it on for 10-15 mins and simply rinse off. It deep cleanses and removes impurities to recharge and restore your skins natural radiance.

I did notice a difference in my skin with regular use. My skin appeared brighter and healthier looking, it also looking slightly plumper after it was rinsed off. It has a nice sweet berry scent to it and the packaging is beautiful. This face mask contains brazilian acai, berries and other essential oils. 

Avon Amazonian Treasures

This face mask is currently on offer at just £2.75, you can find it here