Blog

Birchbox, subscription box

Birchbox April 2021

Good evening friends,

Today we’re playing catch up with beautiful boxes, if you’ve read my previous blogs you’ll know that I’ve been struggling the past couple of months and has taken its toll on my blog too, apologies all!

A few months late but I didn’t want to miss out on sharing my thoughts with you all. Let’s get into it, first up is Birchbox’s ‘Future is now’ April edit

Stasher silicone reliable bag RRP £12.99 (available in green, yellow and orange)
What a genius idea? This silicone bag is reusable, easy to clean, durable and great for the environment.

This multi use, airtight bag can be used as a make up bag, or a toiletries bag, or even for sandwichses, soups and meals, as it can be stored in the fridge, freezer and is microwave safe.
I gave this to a friend as she spends alot of time at the beach – perfect to seal any snacks away when you don’t fancy a side of sand.

Green frog Botanic RRP £4.95
Argan & Rose Oil Shampoo bar

I’ve been using the Garnier shampoo bars for the last couple of months and have loved them.
I’ll admit none of them smell as good as this! The UK population alone throws away 520 millions shampoo bottles every year.

We can do better.

This vegan, plastic free sample bar gave my long locks 7 or 8 wash’s, I’d recommend and no doubt buy it again.

Algologie Hydra Replenishing Booster (Sample size recieved Full size RRP £33)
This Gelified serum hydrates skin, and is packed with hyaluronic acid and natural marine active ingredients) gentle around the eyes, this has become part of my night time routine

Huygens Organic Night Repair Oil (Recieved deluxe mini Full size RRP £31)
I feel like Alice in wonderland.

The repair oil is filled with Coconut and hazelnut oils to repair skin, lavender and rosewood oils to help regenerate and argan oil to protect the skin at night. A few drops of this and the next morning my skin was so soft and nourished, with a healthy glow

The beauty crop Fabulous Flocking Lashes RRP £9 Full size
I haven’t opened this mascara yet as have a few on the go, but a waterproof mascara enriched with argan and jojoba oil to lengthen, thicken and nourish is always, this will be at the top of the list of the next to try.

Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow illuminator Full size RRP £25.50
I’ve tried this product a few times previously. The BB cream helps to smooth skin and even’s skin tone.

I can’t see I’ve noticed a huge different but it is still a good BB cream. Lightweight and non sticky

What did you think of April’s Birchbox/Bag? Have you tried any of the products, or tempted to purchase them?

Kaya •

self care

Crisis of confidence

Good evening friends,

With summer round the corner, and being blessed with this glorious weather on the island, I’ve tried to make the most of getting out the house in the evenings and taking in the fresh air and sun.

A few weeks ago I had a bit of a shock.

I had worked out, wearing leggings and a tank top, hair pulled back, a little red and sweaty but relaxed, not looking my best but still. I flopped on the bed whilst I was on the phone to my friend, near to the end of the call
I did a double take, looked in the mirror and froze.
Who the hell was that looking back at me?

We finished our call and I sat there for minutes just sitting, staring and dissecting ever inch of myself.
When did I get so fat? I was shell shocked and disgusted with myself. My fiance walked in the room and I burst into tears.
I didn’t recognise myself and it was heart breaking. I don’t know how I didn’t see it.

I felt like Samantha from SATC when she gains weight….
‘I’ve been avoiding mirrors’

I felt bloated and flabby, my stomach had darker stretch marks, I found it hard to look in the mirror, even at just my face.
The next 2 days I felt disappointed and miserable, like I had let myself go.
My fiance was of course wonderful and comforting as always but I just felt vile.

I’m normally care free and confident, I know my size, or so I thought, but still rocked my curves.

I don’t want to trigger or upset anyone, so I won’t mention any sites etc, and I’m not proud of this, but I started looking up sites I used when I was in a dark place.

Food diaries of how to live on so little that your body is functioning, but just. Remembering how I would be so secretive, plan tiny meals and work outs, constantly weighing myself, and pinching my fat, and if I had to eat more than I wanted in front of people, it would normally end with me in the bathroom after. I sat and read, and sobbed for an hour.
I wasn’t going back there.

It is difficult though when you look back at that time as your ‘slimmer days’, where my mental health was declining, but everyone always thought I looked ‘so well’.
I might have been slimmer Kaya, but I wasn’t happy, or well, I was a shell of a person who was great at pretending with a fixed fake smile.

Next couple of weeks, I worked out a little harder and became striker with my food, in the back of my head reluctant to eat (which brings up past issues and wasn’t worth revisiting)

The door bell rang right before dinner was served – I had ordered a pair of mom jeans and sizes up, once they arrived I tore them open and threw them on. They fit. If you didn’t have to zip them up. I wanted to cry and throw dinner in the bin.
I begrudgingly ate dinner, and after just took time to think of my progress so far and take a deep breath.

You didn’t gain it in a day, so you won’t lose it in a day

A couple days later, we found out some of my partner’s friends were coming to the island for a few days and wanted to meet tomorrow night for drinks. I was dreading it.
All I could think was, In the last time they saw me I was a few stone lighter. I was so upset and embarrassed.

Friday night rolled around, I did my hair and make up, felt glam and pretty and had a dress in mind. A new summer dress I hadn’t yet worn was hung in the wardrobe, a  flowing floral off the shoulder dress, perfect for the pub. It zipped, but didn’t fit. I looked like a potato. I didn’t even look in the mirror but could feel it didn’t look great.

I wanted to cry. To throw on my PJs, wipe off my make up and lay on the sofa alone with a chick flick and a bottle of wine. Sounds great, but it would of been a defeat.

I took a long deep breath and it just clicked. Okay, you feel fat, you did yesterday and you will tomorrow, because your weight isn’t going to change that quickly. Continue to work out hard, watch what you eat and get over it.

My now expanded stomach, chubbier arms and face wasn’t going to stop me from spending time with friends.

By the time we got to the pub and sat down the cards just floated away. They didn’t care (of course they didn’t, who would) we had such a laugh, with rounds after rounds of drinks, exchanging stories from our early 20’s, about music, etc, watching the sun set. It was incredible.

Saturday (yesterday) morning, we went out for breakfast so settle the hangover, before meeting the guys in another town for a catch up.
I thought I’d let the guys have some time alone to catch up, and sit on the beach alone.

The thought of a bikini didn’t thrill me, my arms, tummy, and back exposed on a busy beach isn’t exactly my favourite look, but it had to be done

I thought F it.

I packed up my towel, book, bottles of water, fruit and a magazine and got dropped off.
I found a quieter spot (2m apart), pulled off my dress and lay in the sun in my bikini.
I was a little hesitant, but cracked open my book and zoned out for the next 3 hours
So zoned out that I didn’t even think about sun cream… Today I am a lobster. Hopefully it’ll ran and not peel!

Picture is taken over my shoulder, you can see where my bikini top was tied at the back.

I’m glad I pushed myself to go out, to wear something I didn’t have the confidence to, because I know I would have been cussing myself roasting on the beach because I was wearing something just to cover up.

I can’t say I’m content with my weight, however I’m more accepting, I think I needed the shock and to fit a low to slap my bad attitude away.

Pandemic or not, your body goes through alot, as long as you’re happy and healthy that’s all that matters. Are you really going to let the size of your jeans or a little wobble stop you from making memories, sharing experiences with the ones you love?

Don’t give up on yourself, and be kind to your body.

Kaya •

Bathbox, subscription box

Your Bathbox Review – February, March & April

Good afternoon friends,

This one’s been a long time coming. I apologise I’ve been away and on and off for the past few months.

I’ll try my best to keep each review short and sweet, as we have 3 ‘Your Bathbox’s to catch up on

For £9.99 and £2.99 P&P,.In each month’s ‘Your Bathbox’, you’ll receive 5 products which includes at least 2x bath bombs, 1x bath salts and a variety of goodies which can include soaps, make up, candles, and snacks.

February
This box was Valentine’s themed, with a Perfect selection of self love goodies

The coconut collaborative Little chocolate pot 45g Plant based, vegan and gluten free, made with coconut cream and ethically sourced. This thick Chocolate & coconut dessert is rich and morish, I would recommend however keep in mind this tiny dessert is 100 calories.

‘Love’ bomb RRP £4
The Lilac scented bomb turned my bath a beautiful soft pink. Does anyone else get SATC vibes?

Fizzy heart RRP £4
Satsuma scented with orange and pink glitter for the ultimate girly bath

Strawberry Prosecco Lip Butter balm RRP £3.75 from Littleheartgifts.co.uk
My new favourite lip balm, cruelty free, smells and tastes divine leaving a smooth shine on your newly nourished lips.

Love Potions skin softening soar RRP £3.50
‘Perfect for a evening soak before bed’, I’ve added this one to the collection for now.

Triple Blend Lux Bath Salts
The scent isn’t labeled, and I can’t pin it… But it smells nostalgic

March
Easter themed (complete with chick and bunny)

Luxury Himalayan bath salts RRP £3.50
Green tea salts, a little sprinkle for a refreshing soak

Chocolate scented bubble egg RRP £3.75 I didn’t think I’d be wild on chocolate scented soap, but this gives just the right about for sweetness

Freesia and Pear Chick RRP £4
Fruit, floral scented and the size of a real chick
Spring blossom bunny RRP £3.50
Blossom scented Pastel purple bath, of course I felt guilty about dunking the bunny

Botanical bath bag RRP £3
Once your bath has run, place in the tub and let the elderflower Scent slowly release

April
Dots and spots themed
(Slightly Monsters Inc themed, with Mike,Sully and Boo vibes)

Fruit salad bomb RRP £3.75 I’ll keep this confetti vibrant bomb for next time I need a soak and a spring in my step

Salted Caramel Bath Muffin RRP £3.75
remove the litter packaging and run under hot water to foam up the bath
Glittery. FYI there would be no judgement from me if someone took a bite

Dainty dot soap RRP £2
Floral, refreshing, clean and comforting scent.

Blueberry Bath Fizzer RRP £4
This spotty fizzy helps to send you off to sleep with nothing but sweet dreams

Luxury relax and sooth bath salts RRP £3.50
Packed with essential oils, these bath salts made my Saturday night

Which box is your favourite?

Kaya •

Uncategorized

Are we in the same boat?

Good afternoon friends,

How is this beautiful Sunday treating you?

I have to jump right in and ask, Is it just me or does anyone feel like they’re all over the show??

The past 3 months I’ve really been struggling. You can only push yourself so hard.

The uncertainty of life, (I don’t mean in a spontaneous way) has thrown me off. Recently my mood has plummeted, then shot to the sky the next minute.

The past couple of months have been trying, with a mixture of emotions and events, I haven’t been in the right frame of mind to blog and didn’t want to post for the hell of it.

There have been a few topics that I’ve missed, but mental health and self care is more important than keeping up with a few posts which relate to the season.

I’ve been feeling constantly lethargic, little under the weather and finding it difficult to stay focused

I haven’t been able to shake the feeling of being tired, achy and low energy.

A few weeks ago we lost a family member which is always difficult, especially during covid but thankfully we were able to attend the funeral to pay our respects and say goodbye, which I am extremely grateful that we were able to.

I’ve mixed up my diet, have made an effort to exercise regularly, take my vitamins, drink more water and make the most of getting out in the fresh air when I can.

I have a solid group of support around me and have comfort in my family, friends, and surroundings, and don’t know if this is all stemming from Covid, but does anyone else feel a little lost and not themselves?

If you can relate to anything I’ve said, please reach out to me, or if you have any advice it’s greatly appreciated

Kaya •

Roccabox, subscription box

Roccabox £5 Mystery box

Good afternoon friends,

Today we’re unboxing an absolute steal, a £5 mystery box.

The Mystery boxes are normally £10, however I was sent an email that they were now available for £5 for a limited time, with p&p for £3.95

All mystery boxes contain a selection of 5/6 items from previously monthly boxes, therefore you may receive repeat items if you are already a subscriber.

Original Nipple Balm
Deluxe mini 4ml RRP £3.99

Yes you read that right, Nipple Cream.I read it 3 times and then asked my fiance to do the same.
This Paraben, fragrance, sulphate, and silicone free cream is multi use, vegan, cruelty free and
Made from Australian free roaming sheep’s wool.

The balm is thick, but not at all sticky, with a light lemon scent. I used a little on my lips, and was pleasent enough.
My only issue with the product was not the size, but the lack of product in the tube. And the name, again, Nipple cream, why?

‘100’s of uses. Where you apply it is your business’

OhK! SOS Skin Toning Peacock Sheet Mask RRP £4
I love OhK! Products, I’ve used a variety over the past year and have always given great results.
The Korean skin care brand are vegan, do not test on animals and are always reasonably priced and funky

Mudmasky Hair Mask Scalp Treatment 3in1 Formula RRP £6.99
I’ve received this product at least 3 times over the past few years in beauty boxes. This treatment will leave your hair feeling nourished and clean with a mild fresh scent.
A decent sized tube for 2 or 3 applications (depending on your hair length), Cruelty free, paraben and sulphate free made with natural ingredients. It’s a winner all round.

SportFX Sport Stamina Long Lasting Waterproof (Black) RRP £7.99
I do not need another mascara, I have a few on the go, however I won’t pass this one, I’ll keep it handy for hot summer days when I can only bare to wear a whip of mascara and a lipbalm

Wildtree Skincare – Organic Body Scrub Melt RRP £3.99
Although this bar was well wrapped, I thought they had send a chocolate treat as I could smell this as soon as I opened the box. This bar is blended with Cacao and Shea Butter.
I loved using this bar, it gently exfoliated my skin, helps with circulation, whilst moisturizing at the same time. The scent was strong but not over powering.

Over £26.98 worth of products that are perfect for daily use, gifts, or a little extra care for only £5, I encourage you to snap this up next time the mystery boxes are released.

Kaya •

Roccabox, subscription box

Roccabox March 2021 Tried and Tested

Good morning friends,

Late last week I received my March Roccabox ‘Birthday Edition’

The box arrived in its traditional pick packaging, I was expecting something a little more colourful, shimmery or celebratory as it was the birthday edition, but no matter, it was jam packed with goodies!

L’Occitane – Almond Milk Concentrate received 50ml RRP £12.50 (Full size 200ml RRP £42)
You know I love a mini…
I have a face and body cream on the go already, so have used this smoothing and firming cream on my hands. I can’t say that my skin has felt firmer after 4 days, but they have certainly been soft. This moisturizer is cruelty free, non greasy, and soaks in well.
I have a little eczema on my hand that is quite sensitive, but the cream was kind to my skin and didn’t leave any redness or itchiness.

Monuskin Professional Skincare – Illuminating Primer SPF15 Full sized £36
I do my best to remember to apply suncream daily, but like most, can often forget.
This SPF Primer is rather thick, but that’s a positive, one pump is enough for your whole face, and soaks in well. I would say £36 for a low SPF Primer is an insane amount to pay. My make up sat well for the day, however I wouldn’t say it’s worth the money as you could easily buy a similar product for half the price.

Anatomicals – Mint Hand Sanitizer & Mint Hand Cream RRP £5
Well it’s part of our day to day, so why not?
These slender tubes are perfect handbag or even pocket sized. They thankfully don’t smell like hand sanitizer, more so the dentist, which is quite a a nice scent in my opinion. Clean, sweet and fresh.

BeautyPro Hair Therapy Deep Conditioning Hair Mask RRP £5.95
This hair mask is to be ‘worn’, after hair is shampooed, rinsed and lightly patted. Twisting wet hair into a conditioning bag is alot more awkward than I expected. The bag stayed on my hair for a full 30 seconds, I retwisted, applied and secured with a hair tie.

After 20 minutes I rinsed my hair, and man, my locks feel Luscious!
The mask may be a little fiddly and heavily scented, but I’d definitely recommend this.

Marc Jacobs Beauty – Velvet Noir Mascara Deluxe sample size RRP £13.80 (Full size RRP £24)
This deluxe mini is a good size, with my favourite type of brush, big and fluffy. One coat divided and thickened my lashes well, with no smudging or flakiness through out the day.
A little on the pricey side bit definitely a decent mascara.

Bonus Product – ISOCLEAN RRP £1
I’ve run out of my make up remover, so this one was a nice treat. Not too much to say about this product, it did have a strong hair spray scent, but cleaned the brushes well, and thankfully didn’t leave a scent on them once rinsed.

Overall I loved this month’s box, practical but pampering with a little bit of everything.

What do you think of this month’s box, are there any products you’d like to try?

Kaya •

Uncategorized

Saturday stroll, Carisbrook, The Tennyson Trail and Gatcombe

Good afternoon friends,

Yesterday morning/early afternoon, my fiance and I set off for a stroll

We didn’t anticipate such a long walk, but as the weather was so beautiful we decided to make the most of it.

We packed a lunch along with a flask of tea, wrapped up in layers, and set out for our trek. We walked from,

Carisbrook to the Tennyson trail to
Bowcomb down, towards Gatcombe, back through Carisbrook and into Newport.

Here’s just a few pictures from our journey

To walk for hours without a destination, to just chat, no distractions, getting exercise and taking in the glorious views, it was wonderful.

We ended up walking 13.6k, my legs definitely needed the stretch, and my chest the fresh air.

We passed less than a dozen people and a few dogs, spotted 2 robins, a sparrow, buzzards, a pheasant, sheep with their lambs, and a festival of birds singing in a tree.

The last few miles of the walk, the trees bowed over is along the tunnel path, I felt as though we were hobbits leaving The Shire.

There were dozens of exposed roots, with burrows, perfect for small creatures, as well as what I expect were rabbit or badger holes around them.

We were tempted to walk around Carisbrook castle before we heading home, though we could hear the families and dogs barking, and decided to take a different route as it looked a little too busy

Forever thankful for our Island, and cannot wait for Spring right around the corner

Kaya •

Hauls

New Product Review – Garnier Ultimate Blends Shampoo Bars

Good afternoon friends,

In recent years, zero waste items have become more accessable and affordable.
The past couple of months I’ve tried my best to take a little extra time when ordering beauty and home items, that are made naturally, with less plastics, to prevent waste, that are vegan, animal cruelty free and palm oil free.

Last week I found Garnier had released a selection of Shampoo Bars.

These 60g bars are packaged in a cardboard box, and retail for £7.99, but are currently on sale in Boots and Superdrug for just £3.99 each with a free aluminium storage box (whilst stock lasts)

It may not be the most exciting item to buy with a Boots voucher, but it was worth it for the price.
There are 4 varieties depending on your hair type
I picked up 3 (out of the 4) bars, one of which I knew a friend would like to try.

Garnier Ultimate Blends Honey Treasures’
Honey and beeswax for damaged hair, to nourish, strengthen and give protection to breakage, with a a soft sweet scent

Garnier Ultimate Blends Ginger’
Ginger root extract and almond oil to Recover and revitalise weak and dull hair leaving it shiny and stronger.
A warming scent, but not over powering, almost a christmas candle fragrance.

Garnier Ultimate Blends Coconut’
Aloe Vera for Normal Hair, to leave your locks Hydrated and clean with a fresh light coconut scent

Garnier Ultimate Blends Delicate Oat Softening Shampoo Bar for Sensitive Scalp & Fragile Hair (The one I didn’t purchase)

The bars last up to 2 months each, are easy to grip, with a tear drop shape.
They are sustainable, Vegan and cruelty free and Silicone and paraben free, and 97% biodegradable formula

The free storage boxes were sold out, but I had another small tub to store it in.

I have used my Blends of Honey bar 3 times in the last week and absolutely love it.
I was unsure if it would work well with thick, long curly hair, and worried it would be left tangled, greasy or felt stripped, but instead my hair feels soft, smooth with a light fragrance, looks and feels clean.

If you haven’t already, I recommend your give them a go!

Kaya •

Roccabox, subscription box

Roccabox February 2021

Good evening friends,

Roccaboxs box is Galentine’s Day themed – A box filled with 5 items and a extra treat for a pamper session ready for Valentine’s day with a loved one, your girls or a relaxing one to yourself.

Project Lip Plump & Colour – Shade Play RRP £14

Firstly, I adore the colour and the idea of a soft Matt finish with a little plumping.
I’ve used the Soap and glory glosses for years, they give a slight tingle and give your lips a little plump… This however was different.
2 swipes, I puckered my lips together and must have licked my lips, as seconds later my lips tongue and throat were on fire.
Not a tingle, but burning hot. I wiped the balm off my lips with a flannel, and spent the next 30 minutes rinsing out my mouth and trying to cool my lips with a flannel.
Just to confirm I do not have any allergies, nor was the skin broken. My lips, mouth and throat were hot a painful for the rest of the evening.
I am extremely disappointed with the product, even more so that I checked the Roccabox Instagram, there are dozens of others customers who have commented the same about this product. I’ve messaged Roccabox 3 times, over the past 2 weeks asking if the product is faulty, what products have been used to give the sensation. I’ve finally recieved a reply, but only asking me to instead email the support team.
I have emailed the team and .awaiting a reply – I understand that not everyone has the same experience with this product which makes me this there could be a faulty batch.

Moving on!

Crabtree & Evelyn – Soft Touch Face Foam RRP £4
This face foam has a light and fresh floral scent, I’m looking forward to lathering this up and having a pamper

Farryn Amber – Floral Oud Perfume Oil Full size RRP £18
This roll on perfume oil is gorgeous! I love a mini to try out new scents,
Sweet almond, Vanilla, Cedarwood, Jasmine Frankincense, Ylang ylang, Sweet orange. Perfect for spring
with only a few strokes across your skin, the scent of sweet honey and orange is extremely fulfilling.

Nip+Fab – No Needle Fix Eye Sheet Mask RRP £6
I haven’t used this mask yet, but love the Nip+Fab products and heard rave reviews.

Fetimans Rose Lemonade Light 250ml RRP £1 (Extra Treat)
A random but lovely little extra, I’m looking forward to my weekend, a cold glass, sat chilling with a face mask on, reading my book.

Soaper Duper – Shea Butter Body Butter RRP.£3.99 for full size (Travel size recieved)
Thick, creamy and non sticky Shea butter is Cruelty free and vegan, also smells delightful

What do you think of this month’s box?

Kaya •

Birchbox, subscription box

Birchbox February 2021

Good afternoon friends,

This month we recieved another wonderful Birchbox, only a few months in and I’m extremely impressed with the products recieved.

This months 5 products came in a make up with the option to choose from the same bag in 2 colours, Blue or orange.
I opted for the bright blue – the bag is a decent size with a sturdy zip, plenty of room as a large make up bag, or wash bag for the gym, beach swimming pool or a weekend away.

Birchbox Accessories
Natural Green Jade Super Polished Gua Sha Full sized RRP £12
The first item I opened was a Facial massage tool to used over moisturizer, facial oil or cream
Depuff skin.
Similar to a jade roller, this Gua Sha can be smoothed over the skin to increasing blood flow for lymphatic drainage. Easy to clean and store in its own little pouch.
If this is one you’re not keen on, it would make a lovely gift.

Huygens Bois Rose Regenerating Face Cleanser 30ml received (RRP £22 full sized)
This face cleanser has a strong but not over powering lavender scent. The cleanser is gentle on your skin, and is Vegan and animal cruelty free.

Sensory Retreats Divine Eyes RRP £21
This warming mask can be used to unwind, or as a overnight black out mask. On the back of the mask are details of a free 85 minutes music session to accompany your relaxing evening, a nice little touch to get the most of the product.

MCoBeauty Tango Cheek & Lip Tint (Full size recieved £12)
although they are practical, I don’t often reach for a tint. The shade is orangy, not overly keen but it is easy to blend, I expect it’ll be nice to try in the summer once my skins a little sun kissed

Soaper Duper
Zesty Sicilian Lemon Body Wash
75ml received (RRP £9.99 full sized)
Cruelty free and vegan 95% Naturally derived body wash fills the room.
I’ve used the vanilla pod body wash in this brand and adore it. This is quite a thin consistency, but a little goes a long way

Once again a lovely box/bag from Birchbox.
No make up this time around, unless you found the cheek and lip tint, but as I’ve said before, at the moment, who needs it?

The weather is still all over the show and a little extra skin care is welcomed.

Kaya •