Friday, 30 May 2014

Coming Soon...

I'm not having the greatest week so am behind on posts, so thought I'd let you know some of the things I'm working on that you will hopefully be seeing soon.

I have been chatting to quite a few companies about reviewing their products. I will be reviewing a personalised phone case from Mr Nutcase, and I will have a discount code for you too. Also on the review list are a joint supplement, some crafty buttons and ribbons, loads of books, lots of make up products and, the one I'm really excited about, a Loot Crate. If you don't know what a Loot Crate is, it is a monthly subscription service which sends you a box of geeky goodies each month. You don't know whats in the boxes, it is all a nice surprise! I've also reached out to a similar company in the hope of doing a comparison, but its a long shot and I won't hold my breath! I'm also hoping to work with some other subscription companies to review their services.



Aside from reviews I will also be doing a 'drugstore' beauty haul. We don't call them drugstores over here but all bloggers/vloggers label their hauls as such so who am I to argue? There will also be a craft/jewellery making themed Amazon haul for your to peruse. I'll be continuing the 'Shows I want back' series, with a growing list of my old favourites. Tonight I also hope to upload the recap of the season finale of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, headache allowing.

So, stay tuned and I apologise for the lack of posts (if anybody is bothered obviously!) but hopefully regularly scheduled blogging will resume soon.

Thanks for popping by!

Jan

Monday, 26 May 2014

TV Shows that I want back Episode 1 - Psych

I love TV....mostly US shows. British comedy is better obviously which is why a lot of the US shows I love were cancelled, maybe the American viewing public don't like it! Crime shows and sci-fii/supernatural are usually my favourites, British version just aren't as slick....they seem more realistic which I don't like! Same for books....just seems more glamourous is US cities with an American accent for some reason! Thankfully, a lot of my favourite shows have been renewed....Bones, Castle, Criminal Minds, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, The Originals, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries (but I love the books more....well only the ones written by LJ Smith, the ones by a ghostwriter after they kicked Smith off her own book series do not exist in my world), Sleepy Hollow, Elementary, 2 Broke Girls, Arrow, Mom, The Goldbergs, The Millers, Brooklin Nine-Nine and SVU.

So, with all that in mind here is episode 1 of  the shows I want back! Some are old, some are not....

Psych 2006-2014



Evil evil people taking Psych away from me!!!! Never ever will I recover *sob*

As you can see I am a 'Psycho'....in more ways than just the usual! I think its my favourite ever show....have just loved every second of it right from the start. Now, I'm sure part of the reason behind the cancellation is the cast's wishes to try new things, but its not as if they did a full network season length! I'm pretty sure most Psychos would have been quite happy to have a couple of slightly longer eps a year, which would free up a lot of time for everyone. Ala, they just cancelled....the most successful USA network show ever I think, still getting huge ratings. Sense? Makes none. I am broken hearted.



Of course I am!



Now, for anyone who has missed out on a genius show, Psych is a comedy buddy detective show. The main character is Shawn Spencer, who, thanks to his copper dad Henry Spencer, has extraordinary observation skills. Henry had hoped that Shawn would follow him into the family business of law enforcement, but Shawn rebels due to a breakdown in their relationship following Henry's divorce from Shawn's mum, Maddy. Each ep opens with a flashback to Shawn's childhoodShawn likes to think he is nothing like his father, but in reality, as Lassie says in Shawn Takes a Shot in the Dark in season 4, they are in fact the same person! In order to carry on informing Santa Barbara PD of the culprits of unsolved crimes, without being arrested and charged as an accessory to said crimes, he claims he is psychic therefore explaining his ability to solve crimes! He drags his childhood best mate, Gus, into the scheme and opens a psychic detective agency. For the next 8 years they get up to many hijinks and solve countless crimes!

Shawn and Gus with the famous Psych Pineapple!
This is something which happens a lot in the show!


Now the character bios....

Shawn Spencer - James Roday

Shawn and his lovely pout!
Born in 1977 to Henry and Madeleine Spencer. He runs from any commitment, until he meets and falls in love with Jules. He treats his best mate Gus somewhat badly, but underneath he loves him very much. He starts the show disliking his father and butting heads with him regularly. His carefree attitude persists in front of all, except Gus in very serious circumstances. He can make friends immediately after meeting people, and can talk his way into anywhere which frustrates the straitlaced Lassie immensely. He appears to have supreme self confidence and never admits to being wrong, he loves to be the centre of attention. In the last episode he follows Jules and the Chief up to San Francisco and finally proposes to Jules. He leaves behind video messsages for all his friends where he reveals that he isn't psychic.

Burton 'Gus' Guster - Dule Hill

A rather typical Gus look here.
Shawn's best friend since infancy, Gus provides the straight man to Shawn's comedic persona. He is said to be academically gifted and still shows signs of nerdiness despites Shawn's childhood attempts to destroy any chance of advancing. His parents are overprotective and don't approve of Shawn as they think he's a bad influence on Gus. They treat him like a child until the ep 'Gus' Dad May Have Killed an Old Guy' in season 2  when they finally seem to see him as a grown man. That is until he leaves the room and they promptly give Shawn money and tell him to look after Gus. He has terrible taste in women, and its a running joke that he is attracted to crazy women. He even married one when he was in college, and extremely drunk. He has no idea they are still married until she wants to annul their marriage in order to marry again. Sadly, Gus remains mostly single throughout the show's run, despite being desperate for a girlfriend. Gus' main job is a pharmaceutical rep, which provides him with a vast knowledge of drugs and poisons, which he uses to help cases. His company car is nicknamed 'The Blueberry' and survives various accidents and Shawn's attempts at modifications. He displays varied interests throughout the series, such as safe cracking, spelling bees, trains, coins, astronomy, tap dancing and a cappella. He eventually follows Shawn to San Francisco in the last episode, hinting that Psych will continue there.

Carlton Jebediah 'Lassie' Lassiter - Timothy Omundson
Lassie is smiling shock horror!

Lassie is the uptight Head Detective who provides the serious and inept character for Shawn to humiliate and antagonise. In reality, Lassie is a solid cop, just lacking in imagination and the ability to think outside the box, which means that he never beats Shawn to the solve. He is very conservative, loves guns and other weaponry and is unlucky in love thanks to his straitlaced personality. Lassie finally meets a woman in a bar in 'This Episode Sucks' in season 6, while he is drowning his sorrows and depressing and scaring the bartender in equal measure. He falls almost immediately in love with her and is heartbroken to find out she has sneaked out of the toilets while he waited for her return. He orders McNab to find all he can on her, only to be disappointed when he finds nothing. Eventually he realises that she touched his watch and left a fingerprint. Thanks to this he finds out that her name is Marlowe Viccellio, and later that she is also a suspect in the crime he is investigating. It transpires that Marlowe was trying to help her ill younger brother by providing him with blood that he could transfuse himself with. She is arrested, convicted and sentenced to a number of months in jail. Lassie visits her and tells her he will wait for her and the couple eventually marry and have a daughter together. At the end of the final season, Lassie is promoted to Chief when Karen Vick moves to San Francisco. Watching Shawn's farewell dvd, he stops it before Shawn can admit he is not a psychic and destroys the disc, thus finally showing his love and respect for Shawn.

Juliet Lynn 'Jules' O'Hara - Maggie Lawson

Jules looking very young!
Jules first appears in the second episode of season 1 as Lassie's new partner, thanks to Shawn outing Lassie's relationship with his previous partner Lucinda Barry. She is a junior detective and has transferred from Miami. It turns out that Jules scored very highly on her detectives exam, beating Lassie and seeming quietly proud. She and Lassie are both astounded to learn that Shawn scored a perfect 100 on the test when he was just 15, beating both Jules and Lassie. Throughout the show there is the promise of a romance between Shawn and Jules, with Shawn being obviously in love with her from the start. Jules has a brother, Ewan, played by wrestler John Cena, who is a high ranking army officer who seems to be a part of the secret services. Jules has to arrest her brother in the ep 'You Can't Handle This Episode' in season 4 but he is 'disappeared' by the army before he can be prosecuted. Her father, Frank O'Hara played by the one and only William Shatner, is a seasoned con artist who Jules hasn't seen since she was a child. Thanks to Shawn's well meaning intervention, Jules and her father are reconciled and part on good terms. Jules eventually admits her feelings for Shawn, and despite a few false starts, the couple start a relationship and become serious quickly, deciding to move in together in the second ep of season 7, 'Juliet Takes a Luvvah'. Later in season 7, during Lassie and Marlowe's wedding reception in 'Deez Nups', Juliet starts to notice flaws in Shawn's explanations and finally realises he isn't psychic. For the next few eps Shawn and Jules are apart as Juliet feels betrayed by Shawn. She finally realises that he can do a lot of good with his masquerade, and the couple reunite. Jules eventually decides to leave SBPD an follow the former Chief to San Francisco to become Head Detective, leaving Shawn behind to decide when he was ready to follow. In the final ep Jules accepts Shawn's marriage proposal after he leaves everything behind in Santa Barbara to be with her.

Henry William Spencer Jr - Corbin Bernsen

Yup, grumpy as usual!
Henry is Shawn's father, and ex-detective with the SBPD, who wanted his son to follow in his footsteps. So much so that he trained him from an early age to improve his observational skills. The episodes mostly start with a flashback to Shawn's childhood, showing an aspect of either his training or his dad teaching him an important lesson, which always tied into the episodes storyline. Shawn and Henry have a complex relationship at the start of the show, with Shawn feeling that his dad is too rigid and demanding, and blaming Henry for his parent's divorce. In the first ep of season 3, 'Ghosts', Shawn finally learns the true cause of the marriage breakdown. His mother left his father, but Henry tried to preserve Shawn's image of his mother as perfect to minimise the pain. Following this the two are on much steadier ground and there is a great love between the two. They are also extremely alike in many ways, much to their distaste, and Shawn turns to him for help in his cases often. By the end of the show, Henry has decided to become a professor but shows interest in taking over the Psych office from Shawn and Gus when they leave for San Francisco.

Other notable characters are Officer Buzz McNab, Chief Karen Vick, Dr Woodrow 'Woody' Strode, Madeleine Spencer, Abigail Lytar, Mary Lightly, Mr Yang, Mr Yin and Pierre Despereaux.

I love this show and watch it repeatedly and obsessively! I want it back!!!!

Thanks for popping by!

Jan
x


Cast photo as only Psych can do it....



Friday, 23 May 2014

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D S01E21 recap 'Ragtag'

You have noooo idea how much I geeked out when we found out they were making this show! Coulson Lives!



Having seen the entire season, I thought I'd recap the last 2 eps for those who are playing catch up.

SPOILERS WILL BE BELOW so nobody complain.....it's a RECAP!

First up, there's a nice little round up of ep 20....Ward and Garrett have Skye captive on the team's stolen bus. Deathlok is trying to find out how to decrypt the hard drive to which Skye transferred all the data on Coulson's resurrection and Skye's recovery. Nothing works until he shoots a device at Ward's chest, which promptly stop his heart. Skye watches in shock as he writhes, Garrett knows Ward is still her weak spot. She tells Deathlok that Ward is a murderer, he then asks 'are you?' She caves to save Ward, tells Deathlok how to decrypt the drive and he restarts Ward's heart. Coulson gets on the bus thanks to a diversion from Maria Hill and Trip. He grabs Skye, tells her to get into Lola and they make the most epic escape imaginable! Coulson tells Hill they need backup, she says there is none, that S.H.I.E.L.D no longer exists.



Onto ep 21......

The ep starts with a flashback sequence, fifteen years to be exact. Garrett is visiting a young Ward, who is locked up in juvie for trying to burn his family home down. Garrett makes him an offer he can't refuse. He promises to make Garrett a man, someone nobody would mess with.....early brainwashing much? Then follows the prison break.....

The younger team members are sat on motel beds watching TV news. Deathlok has killed a top Colombian drug dealer who had no ties to Hydra. Coulson and May are in the next room, Coulson calls the others in to look at their old school white board....no fancy tricks now but they still kick ass! Cybertek is connected to all the different players they've come across. Garrett has been developing the Centipede serum all this time, he now just needs GH325 as the final ingredient. Luckily for our heroes, Skye left a little present for the bad guys in the form of a Trojan horse which has been slowly mapping every system they uploaded it to....yay Skye! One small problem, she didn't have time to build it, so now she needs to plug a drive into one of Cybertek's computers to activate it, and they haven't been able to find one....boo!

Coulson and May decide to go into Cybertek in the guise of now unemployed S.H.I.E.L.D scientists in order to find a computer, cos surely there must be some at Cybertek right? Coulson points out to his loyal team that they have no authority to do what they are planning. He starts to say something about how 'we are now..'..at which point Fitz interrupts him by shouting 'Vigilantes!' To which Coulson replies 'I was going to say doing this because its the right thing, but, yeah'. Love this team!

Ward and Garrett are on the bus, Ward is pissy and Garrett is nuts. Deathlok shoots hate vibes at both of them, which Garrett chooses to ignore, and as a reward for Mike doing a good job killing the drug lord, he tells someone to stream Mike some video of his son. Flowers (Raina) is a happy little psycho camper, as she's close to replicationg GH325. Ward is mostly still sulking that Garrett made Mike almost kill him.

The good guys are gathered by a relatively nice looking motel pool. Fitz is worried about the Cybertek mission, Skye tries to reassure him by telling him that nobody will be able to see through their new ID's. Coulson gets a call, its official, he and May are going to Cybertek's R&D department. Fitz is not liking the idea that they are about to share their designs with the bad guys. He is also still convinced that Ward is good....Skye just tells him that Ward is evil. Fitz doesn't believe in being born evil. Poor Fitz. Trip arrives with a suitcase, which I want by the way, of his grandaddy's old Howling Commando gear....apparently S.H.I.E.L.D's old spy tech was funky steampunkesque bits and bobs which looked innocent so that the spies didn't get oh so dead when caught with spy ware. Coulson wants a full inventory....oh until he gets his geek on when he sees a hand held hypno beam....not just any hand held hypno beams but an original beta model with the switch on the bottom. Now the the production models had the switch on the side dontcha know? Adorable! Skye is unimpressed by the goodies, until she finds a seemingly joke buzzer which she finds out, when she presses it, is an EMP. Boom goes the electrics! Fitz demonstrates how innocent the tech looks with a cigarette....which turns out to be a laser and promptly sets the lace curtains on fire! May's deadpan delivery of 'Watch out Hydra, here we come' was just perfect!

Another flashback....fifteen years ago in the woods of Wyoming. Garrett and Baby Ward strolling through the trees with a gorgeous chocolate lab called Buddy....love him! Baby Ward is worried about police finding them, Garrett takes the opportunity to tell him that nobody is looking for them, and that basically nobody else cares about Ward. Baby Ward isn't too bright, as he didn't see the fact that Garrett was going to leave him in the woods coming a mile off. He pouts and complains that its not fair, that if he'd known he would have packed tools and food instead of just clothes. Another lesson Garrett wants to teach Baby Ward is not to blame anyone else for his own failings. From now on Baby Ward earns EVERYTHING. He tells Ward he can quit and go back to juvie, confirming what everyone thought of him, that he was weak and worthless. Garrett tells Baby Ward that he'll be back in a couple of months and that he believes Ward can do it. Further along the path to brainwashing we skip!

Back to the future, in Palo Alto, California, Coulson and May are all geeked over in adorable checked shirts and waistcoats, Coulson rocking a snazzy tie and May looking uncomfortable in her glasses and meek scientist persona. Now for the names....Theo Tiddle and Dr Rome? Oh yes! Our attention is drawn to the stenographer in the corner, puzzling our good guys....surely a high tech company like Cybertek would be more up to date? Cybertek are underwhelmed by previous former S.H.I.E.L.D scientists, unlike Hydra scientists who are apparently younger. Cut to a shot of a cleaning services van, with Fitzsimmons in the back communicating with Coulson and May and bickering as usual. Simmons takes great offence to the idea that Hydra's scientists are younger saying 'May barely looks a day over 30! You're gorgeous!' which prompts May to switch off her comms device with an awkward smile. Trip and Skye are in front seats, scanning the building on UHF thanks to more of Grandad Trip's gadgets. Oddly, she can't find any data signatures, so needs Coulson and May to stall for longer. Fitzsimmons take up the torch by telling Coulson and May to show the icer bullet. Thanks to repeating everything Fitz says Coulson ends up slipping into a Scottish burr which he then has to shake off. May has her own problems meanwhile, as Simmons has just gone off on one about the fact that Fitz should have consulted her before he made the moulds as it was a challenge to condense the dosage to fit....nice nod back to the early season eps. Fitzsimmons end up bickering, of course, as do May and Coulson. Cybertek have seen an icer bullet before, used with a 'Sleepy Sleep gun'....oh Fitzsimmons are pissed! Back to Skye who is now checking building permits and sees something hinky about the fourth floor, one way in or out and reinforced security door.

Coulson and May leave their meeting and get into the lift with a security guy....cut to a shot of lift doors with sounds of fighting. The doors open and Coulson and May leave with nary a hair out of place, dragging security guy between them....'does your sweater itch?' says May, 'little bit' returns Coulson. Deadpan and wonderful as ever. They get to a long corridor with a lovely red phone on the wall halfway between them and a single security guard. Cue May backflipping her way to the phone, kick boxing the security fella out of her way and catching the handset without breaking a sweat. Hangs up and pushes her glasses back into place as Coulson strolls up and tells May he's glad she's back....which gets a very cute smile as a reward. Coulson whips out his spy cigs and May tells him not to set fire to the drapes. After lasering the door open, they are confronted with a sea of filing cabinets.Turns out there is no mainframe, everything is on hard copy, hence the stenographer. They decide to have a nosy anyway and find Mike Peterson's file. Turns out that Project Deathlok started in 1990, Garrett was the first Deathlok! Shock! Coulson tells Trip and Skye to be ready for a large file transfer then promptly chucks the filing cabinet out of the window....very Coulson! Team jumps to it and retrieves the cabinet and Trip whips out another Grandaddy Trip toy, and shoots a line for Coulson and May to slide down.

More flashback action now....pouring rain and a soaked Baby Ward and Buddy snuggled up together. Then we hear Ward's voiceover, he's back to shouting at Garrett about the whole heart stoppy thing. Garrett wants him to use his indoor voice....he's a psycho but he gets snappy lines. Ward says that since the day they met he has done everything Garrett asked, to which Garrett replied that he knew Skye wouldn't let him get hurt. He says she's a soft touch, like Ward. Ward is no longer a scared kid anymore, Garrett tells him to stop acting like one, to stop being weak and playing the victim. He says he sometimes wonders why he bothered then promptly collapses.Ward gets him to the lab and kicks everyone out, then plugs Garrett in.

The team have finally discovered that Garrett was patient zero and wants GH325 for himself as well as for the supersoldiers. Fitz still wants Ward to be good bless him, he wonders if Garrett did the same to him as he did to Deathlok. Skye turns round and says that she wishes she'd let Mike finish him off, she says she's stupid and weak. Coulson disagrees, tells her she had compassion which is harder. Then PIZZA for Pablo Jimenez....ha.....which Coulson eventually realises is him!

Back on the bus Garrett is all better, Ward is relieved until Garrett tells him that his organs are shutting down and he has 1 or 2 months left to live.

Trip has ID'd a number Cybertek shipments all ending up in Havana....so the team is off to Cuba!

Raina is all disillusioned that Garrett isn't a true believer like she is, but she shares the fact that Skye's DNA matches that of someone she heard about years ago with Ward. Adds the fact that the monsters who were looking for Skye in her home village were actually her parents, to the info we learned earlier in the season.

Flashback! Still in the woods! Turns out that Garrett was gone for 6 months, which was slightly longer than he'd promised Baby Ward...oopsy. Tells Ward he knew he could do it....oh so much brainwashing!

Raina hands Garrett the single existing vial of 'pretty much' GH325 serum.

Trip gives Fitz a homing beacon, which is lucky considering what occurs later! The team splits, with Fitzsimmons heading off to find the bus and the others are off to the barbershop. Fitzsimmons are under strict orders not to engage....hmmm did everyone else know what they meant was going to happen? The barbershop is deserted yet its giving off huge amounts of energy....suspicious. Fitzsimmon's have found the bus, but tell Coulson that by the time the rest of the team arrive the bus will be long gone. They decide to send on of the Dwarves in, Sleepy as he is the best listener next to Simmons. As Fitz heads off to get Sleepy Ward steps forward. Skye wants in to the bunker to plug her drive in, as she is convinced there will be a terminal in there. Seems logical.

Flashback to 10 years ago with non Baby Ward sat with Garrett and still snuggling with Buddy.....not a good sign *sniffle* Garrett is busy whining about trust and being deserted by S.H.I.E.L.D in Sarajevo. This was enough to turn him nutty  and wanting revenge. He decides to tell Ward about Hydra....Hydra understands the importance of survival. Yup still brainwashing.

Ward brings Fitzsimmons onto the bus and to Garrett. Fitz promply sets off the EMP he has in his hand which drops Garrett....yay Fitz!

More flashback....Ward has been accepted to Operations Division. Finally seems to decide that the brainwashing is complete and cuts the strings. Tells him to take care of Buddy *sob* he doesn't mean give him belly rubs and treats! Ward says it isn't a problem, no weakness. Flash forward to Ward trying to fix Garrett's innards....he then tells Ward to cross off Fitzsimmons. 'Its not a weakness is it?' plucking Ward's strings as usual.

The gang have made it underground...but we're still worried about Fitzsimmons. They evade their guards and make a run for it. They end up locking themselves in the cube where they have another chat with Ward. Fitz continues to try and get through to Ward but is wasting his breath as Garrett knows which buttons to press. He cares for Fitzsimmons, and that is a weakness. He jettisons the box.

Raina is pulling inside robot bits out of Garrett, they realise they need to use the serum, so she injects it into what could be his heart...possibly, not sure! He starts to go mental, seizing and spitting, then he calms and looks beatific when he says he's feeling the universe.

Back underground Trip is using Grandaddy's tools to scan the walls. Finds a secret door, 'they're kind of my thing' says Coulson. Open sesame, computer, yay! Oh balls.....Centipede soldiers! The team are surrounded....

Quinn is in DC meeting Armed Forces chiefs, offering to sell supersoldiers....yep plural. Not 1 but 1000....um one small problem he doesn't know about yet is that Garrett has used up all the serum! Dun dun duuuuun!

Hope you enjoyed my epic recap!

Thanks for popping by!

Jan
x


My current top hand and body lotions

Thought I'd share a few of my current favourite beauty products.......

Today is lotions and potions for your body!




This stuff smells divine.....unlike a lot of scented products, this one actually does smell like strawberries! Not the sickly sweet fake stuff you sometimes get. It also lingers on your skin long after it has soaked in. It is very smooth and luxurious and leaves you skin looking, feeling and smelling great!




Sort of like a posh talc, this is a fine light golden powder and contains a full vanilla pod waving from the bottle! No sparkle to speak of, but leaves skin soft and smooth and gives a great kick of vanilla scent that sticks around for hours!




I actually got this free with a magazine....yes I totally bought the mag just for the freebie! The tube looks oh so posh, and the insides aren't half bad either! It doesn't seem too highly scented, but it is a pleasant aroma. I hate hand creams that lie on your skin like an oil slick an you end up wiping most of it off. Luckily this one is very light and sinks in straight away and seems to nourish your hands well, which is its only job after all!




This is pretty much an amped up baby oil, which is a product I also love. I use it in the same way I use baby oil, I apply it when my skin is slightly damp from the shower. Give it a good rub (behave!) then  leave it to sink in and you'll be all soft and glisteny....I know that's not a word but I like it!




This had quite a lot of press last year so I decided to have a look. I bought 2 tubs from Amazon and still have most left! You don't need much of this at all, it's VERY thick and takes a while for it to sink in, but its great if you have super dry skin. It's very like Vaseline (petroleum jelly) in consistency, but it contains cocoa butter which is great for skin. Put it on at night (under some old pjs obviously!) and let it sink in as you sleep. Pack loads onto your feet and wear thick socks and all your dry, hard skin will be gone by morning!




I can't speak for its efficacy as an after sun on burned skin as I don't really get any sun, my vampire skin can't take it. I can, however,  confirm it cools the skin! Due to my many medical issues my body temperature tends to be a lot higher than normal people! When the weather is hot its miserable for me as my temp goes even higher. I use this gel as an extra helper when I'm burning up. It works even better if you keep it in the fridge.




I love pretty much all products by N Spa! I use their shower products, facial skincare, body sprays and body lotions. Shea butter is another great ingredient for skin, pleasant smelling yet not overpowering. Not much else to say about body creams really, they're great at what they say they do!




Basically a cheap version of E45, works exactly the same for a fraction of the price! 




More Aloe Vera! Very soothing on skin and not oily. Sinks in quickly and feels lovely!




Yup, N Spa again! It's the same formula as the Shea butter one but in vanilla....which is so delicious!




Another Aloe gel, I use it for exactly the same reasons as the Calypso, this is maybe slightly less sticky.




This is possibly my favourite at the moment! It's a body lotion, in a spray! Look! Look! How cool is that?! Yes I am aware that I'm a geek but its a great product so I can be forgiven!




Again, this is a cheap version of some more prestige brands. Nice subtle raspberry scent and leaves your hands lovely and soft! (psst go to Home Bargains or a similar shop near you, its under a quid!)

If anyone has any other recommendations leave me a comment below!

Thanks for popping by!

Jan
x

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Hello Everyone & Amazing Spider-Man 2 Review

As you may know, from that little gadget thing, over there, to the left, Jan is married, to some weird, tall fella called Ian...

Well... hi there, I'm Ian! From time to time, I will be guest posting on here, and no doubt, Jan will guest post on my blog.

For my first, guest post here on Merlin's Cove, I thought I would share with you my Amazing Spider-Man 2 review... Enjoy! I nearly forgot, before I get to the review, I should mention, I start each of my posts with Allons-y! I realise not everyone will get this reference, Jan does, that is why I do it.



After the hugely successful rebooting of the Spider-Man franchise with, The Amazing Spider-Man, the bar for the inevitable sequel was set very high, lets see how ASM2 lives up to it... Allons-y!




Disney, at present, do not own the rights to Spider-Man, meaning, he cannot turn up in the Avengers, which is a shame, that would be so cool... This inability to crossover means, the team behind ASM2 have to set up their own spidey-verse. Therein lies one of my biggest issues with ASM2, it feels more like a set up, a two and a half hour pre-credit sequence if you will, rather than a movie in it's own right.

Multiple aspects of ASM2 add to the feeling that this is purely a filler... a means to get number 3, and, the Sinister Six film made. For example, Harry Osborne, exiled heir to the Oscorp empire, returns half hour into the film because his father is dying. He's told, he too has the condition that killed his father and, also learns, from some unexplained piece of technology that is brought to life by pricking/shocking? Harry that Spidey's blood could cure him. Cue, brief moment of Harry asking Spidey for blood, Spidey telling him to wait, for safety reasons, Harry going all Anakin Skywalker, letting Electro out, having brief fight with Spidey, getting locked up and setting up plot for future films. To me, this aspect of the film feels, unnecessary. Don't get me wrong, I personally prefer this Goblin to the Sam Raimi version, however, I think the Goblin story could have waited until the next film, or the Sinister Six film. Despite my reservations about the Harry/Goblin involvement in ASM2, Dane DeHaan does quite a solid job as Harry, and, in my opinion surpasses Willem Dafoe's Goblin...we won't mention James Franco's Goblin (it's just dawned on me, how rude that sounds), that was just terrible, although, that wasn't down to Franco, you can only work with what you're given after all.

Aleksei Sytsevich/Rhino, is, in my opinion, the same as the Goblin situation in this. In total, Aleksei/Rhino is not in the movie for more than 10 minutes. There is a couple of minutes at the start before he gets his Rhino garb, then, a couple of minutes at the end. Now, either the makers have gone for some record for, shortest supervillian screen time ever, or, as I suspect is the case, they are setting up another film. I'll tell you how short it is, it was so short, Jan didn't notice that he was played by Paul Giamatti.

The only, future character set up, which I'm assuming is a future character set up, that didn't feel too forced, or, over the top, is Felicia Hardy. Now, I'm assuming she is Felicia Hardy, she doesn't reveal her surname as far as I am aware, however, something about the way they get Harry asking her name, and, her knowing things she probably shouldn't make me wonder, will we be seeing Black Cat soon?

Someone who probably won't be making another apperance in the Spidey series is, Electro. Now, you would think that the story of how, the meek, mild mannered, Oscorp worker, Max Dillon turns into a murderous, Emperor Palpatine, Smurf hybrid, would get a resonable amount of explanation... you would be wrong. You get a sequence showing him having a workplace accident, that, would make hardened Health & Safety Executive's run out of forms, however, the only explanation for his new found rage is a throwaway line, in which, he mentions a feeling of anger. Either, we are to assume that the shocks he received turned him into a wrong'un, or, as I am guessing is the case due to his behaviour as Max, he suffered from some grandiose delusional disorders.

I realise, the past few paragraphs will lead you to arrive at the conclusion that I didn't like the film. Far from it, I very much enjoyed it. Andrew Garfield, again, makes both a brilliant Peter and Spidey. He brings a likability to the role of Peter, you find yourself wanting him to succeed, wanting him to win, wanting things to go well with Gwen, all these things, if I'm honest I struggled with, with the Raimi films. In his role as Spidey, he brings all the aspects he does to Parker and, he also brings a wise cracking, quick witted, cheeky nature.

Emma Stone, as was with the first film is a perfect on screen match for Garfield. She is contantly putting Parker/Spidey in his place, and, her comic timing is right on the money. For any fans of the Gwen character, there is an incident, towards the end, that will infuriate you, as it did Jan and myself. 

The action sequences in ASM2 are, in my opinion, the best of all the Spidey films to date. I know some people have complained about the amount of greenscreen work, however, I disagree. All the action is filmed extremely well, the greenscreen and CGI, whilst in abundance, work well and is blended relatively seamlessly with the physical elements. Electro ran the risk of looking naff (think Scorpion King, in The Mummy 2) however. he was done with tremendous skill, and, looked quite believable, well, as believable as a person made from electricity can.

Overall, the film is an enjoyable watch, and, it contains all the necessary elements to be a good superhero movie, however, it does stumble sometimes along the way.

Thanks for stopping by, I do hope you enjoyed yourself.

Upcoming posts and maybe a competition.....

I am working with a few companies to start reviewing and promoting their brands. One is a lovely site called FantasticRibbons.com. Hopefully I can put together a nice crafty project using their extremely pretty products! Ian also wants to play with the girly stuff and take photos of his giftwrapping skills!

I will also be reviewing a children's book which is due for release in June. It is called Shouty Kid by Simon Mayle and sounds extremely entertaining! If anyone would like to win a copy of this book, stay tuned.....

I shall be shamelessly asking for other products to selflessly review for you in the coming weeks! Aren't I kind??

Thanks for popping by!

Jan
x


Wednesday, 21 May 2014

ME/CFS is currently kicking my....

Not sure if anyone would notice anyway, but thought I'd mention it! I may be slightly quiet for a few days as my ME/CFS is really kicking my arse.....I am very tired and in pain, plus I have brain fog which doesn't help when writing posts!

I have some posts all planned out, just not written! There's a 'my favourite make up' (well all the ones I can afford!), 'my favourite body lotions and potions', 'special effects nail varnish from Poundworld' (I'm classy!), some book reviews and some product reviews....

So, I'll be around if anyone wants me for any reason! Just don't expect coherency when I reply....like you ever would!

Thanks for popping by!

Jan
x

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Products I'm lusting over!

I'm not particularly girly, but I love make up and lotions and potions!

So here are my wish list products!


The follow up to Naked and Naked 2, this gorgeous palette has 12 neutral shades that will suit everyone! The price of this beauty is why it is, and will no doubt remain, on my wish list!


Other than the shades, the reason I want this is because they are all infused with cocoa powder! Who wouldn't want to smell like chocolate?!




I've never really had a favourite mascara, other than Maybelline's The Falsies, so would love to find one that I love. Not sure how available Tarte products are over here though....

Here starts the long list of Sleek products!


More eyeshadows! Four shimmer and eight matte....nice that a palette has a large number of matte shadows. 


There are some gorgeous colours in this palette, and the packaging is lovely!




This comprises 3 shades, a darker contour powder, a shimmery highlighter and blusher. The best part about this kit is that it contains Sleek's Rose Gold blusher which is a dupe for Nars Orgasm!


A nude lip colour is a must have in any make up bag, and I think this one is a really pretty colour.


Tanya Burr is another of my favourite YouTubers/ bloggers and she has her own range of lip and nail products! Just Peachy is a very pretty colour with a nice consistency, so it's a nice staple product.




These brushes were created by Samantha Chapman, who is actually the sister of Jim Chapman (yet another favourite YouTuber!) who is engaged to Tanya Burr. She is a renowned make up artist and teamed up with Real Techniques to create a professional brush range. The prices are very reasonable and they are very well made and do exactly what they promise! This set contains a detailer brush, pointed foundation brush, buffing brush, contour brush and a 2 in 1 case and stand.




These two are great all rounders. Foundation, concealer, powder, bronzer, blusher! Best of all, like all Real Technique brushes, they are completely cruelty free!


I keep seeing this brand on YouTube videos, people raving about how amazing it is, so need to try it! This is the lighter version, as I have oily skin. It can be used as a primer, moisturiser, make up remover and even too soothe sunburn and other skin irritations! What's not to love?? 

Anyone have any other stuff I need to try please feel free to leave me a comment!

Thanks for popping by!

Jan
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Monday, 19 May 2014

Jan's recipe for dry shampoo that smells good enough to eat!

I doubt there's anyone, women in particular, who hasn't used, or at least know of, dry shampoo. Its great when your hair is just a bit blah and greasy, or if you want to add a bit of volume and texture. Trouble is, the ones you buy in the shops are full of chemicals which are bound to mess up your hair and scalp. Plus, they end up adversely affecting your bank balance. So, following on from the story of my 'no 'poo' adventure, here is a great recipe for dry shampoo...using yummy smelling stuff you would find in a kitchen!

Now I have very dark hair, but I will give you two recipes, one for light hair and one for dark.



For dark hair



What you'll need

Unsweetened cocoa powder
Arrowroot powder or corn starch
Cinnamon
Vanilla pod
Container
Powder brush or some form of shaker for the application
Bicarbonate of soda (not strictly necessary but if your hair gets really greasy it can help eliminate the extra oil/smell)

I'm not really a measurey girl, but just use common sense when adding stuff together. The arrowroot/cornstarch is the base, this is what will soak up the oil. The cocoa is to help the powder blend in with your dark hair. Be careful, however, because if you put too much in you'll end up looking grey! I tend to put it in my hair at night, by the time I wake up all the powder has gone and my hair looks great! The cinnamon can add a red tint, which will compliment most dark hair, plus it smells great! If you have red hair you could always add a little more cinnamon and a little less cocoa. Entirely up to you! The vanilla pod is purely for fragrance. All you need to do is combine the ingredients until you reach a colour you are happy with. For application you could use a large powder brush, a shaker or simply scoop a small amount into your hands and smooth it over your hair. This stuff smells great, well it would with those ingredients, and it lasts for ages. Don't apply it anywhere that you don't want a lovely dusting of cocoa coloured powder mind....


For fair hair

What you'll need

Arrowroot or cornstarch
Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) if desired

Mix and voila! Much easier for blondies!

Any questions just leave it in the comments and I'll try to help!

Thanks for popping by!

Jan
x

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Life without shampoo....much better than you'd think!

For the last year or so neither my husband or I have used traditional shampoo and conditioner. I have extremely long, very thick and wavy and very coarse hair. Trying to get a wide toothed comb through my wet hair, to spread the conditioner easily, was a headache inducing, nigh on impossible task! I kept seeing mentions of Apple Cider Vinegar and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) as replacements. I'll be honest, I didn't expect much. Expensive shampoos, conditioners and treatments didn't make the slightest bit of difference, so how could bicarb and vinegar??






 
















Well........

This stuff is GENIUS....just mix a lttle of the bicarb in a spray bottle with water and use as a shampoo. Spray directly onto your roots and massage away! It leaves it squeaky clean, and tangle free. Once that's rinsed out, do the same with the ACV, but on the lengths and ends. Keep it away from the roots or you'll run the risk of greasy hair. Then I comb through....with zero knots or tangles, glides through like a knife through butter.

The thing that surprised me most, is that there is no smell of vinegar left on your hair. The only way I can describe the fragrance is clean. It just smells fresh and completely clean. Obviously this doesn't work if you like your hair to smell fruity (ooer!) like shampoo! Eventually though, you need to wash your hair less and less often. Unless you get grubby regularly, say if you're stuck in Victorian times and are a chimney sweep (yes I have forgotten all modern grubby jobs!), you won't need to clean your hair. Just rinsing with warm water when you shower should be enough to keep clean.

Basically, the theory behind this is that shampoo actually strips the natural oils from your hair, which then means your scalp produces more oil the more you use them. Which is bad. Using the bicarb and ACV doesn't do this, it cleans off the excess oil and you don't need to use as much. Shampoo is basically a detergent, so its very harsh on your hair. Primarily I was looking for something to make washing my hair less of a hassle and less painful.. Its also ended up a lot cheaper and quicker! It does strip colour from hair unfortunately, but I suppose it shows how well it cleans!

I have a great recipe for home made dry shampoo, which, as my camp husband says smells 'gorgeous and A-MAZING!!' !! I'll post that for you in another blog if anyone is interested!

Thanks for popping by!

Jan
x

ps. the term for forgoing shampoo is called 'no 'poo' in case you wondered *snigger*!!!

Much Blunting....not a drugs reference....

So.......

Back to Blunting!

The night of my first gig was like a breath of fresh air through my life. I didn't magically end up cured of anxiety and depression, but I certainly saw possibilities in my world again.

The gig was great....Jason Mraz was the support act, so I was also introduced to a new artist, and Blunty was on form. It was a standing gig, so due to early queuing (which would become my life for a few tours!) myself and my new friend Anna made it to the barrier. Close as you could get. Now, any of you who know much about JB, know that he isn't really a solo artist. He has a brilliant band, which is comprised of the country's most sought after session musicians. If it was JB alone on a stage, I'm not sure I would have been quite as hooked, as the band truly make the music come alive. They're also close friends and that comes through as they perform. Suffice to say, my addiction to live music had begun!

 After the gig we wandered round the venue to the car park. At the back of the venue there is a pub which is attached to the building, but separated by the stage door. There was a large crowd mingling around at the stage door, waiting for JB to come out. We joined the crowd and chatted to people for an hour or so, again, something I never thought I would be able to do, simply the fact that we were on the same wavelength as each other helped (although, not the strange woman who kept trying to talk to me in the queue, despite me listening to music to help my anxiety. She ended up showing me the tattoo she'd had done, of his signature on her arm....she hadn't met him by that point mind, just found a pic of his signature and had that tattooed! Oddball). The boys from the band slowly started to leave, one was Paul Beard, the pianist/organist, who would later play a large part in some of my life choices. Sadly I didn't get to meet Beardy this time, as he sprinted past everyone to the taxi at the end of the road! He told me at a later date that he didn't want to draw focus from JB, as he was who people were there to see. I disabused him of that notion! I did manage to meet Malcolm Moore, the bassist, who is ridiculously tall, and very lovely. I became oddly star struck by him as he signed my copy of Back to Bedlam, to me the boys in the band are as important as JB and I treat them as such.

James eventually came outside to sign and take photos. I hovered at the back, too shy to attempt to ask him for anything! The people who know me personally are now wetting themselves at the idea of me being shy, but I was at that point, especially with people I didn't know, and hadn't mentally prepared myself to meet! Anna decided that this was not on, and pointed at me and shouted my board user name to him (I was a prolific poster at that point!), which strangely he recognised. He came  over to chat to me, though I can't remember a single word of it now, and sign for me. I got a great photo....



....and a new phase of my life.....

Thanks for popping by!

Jan
x

Friday, 16 May 2014

Blunt, Bedlam and housework waterworks

Last month I managed to get to a gig. My way too lovely friend Moira bought me and Ian tickets yay! We ended up front row thanks to my wheelchair...see every cloud and all that! My legs may be virtually useless but they got me to front row! See I'm such an optimist....

Now, many of you may judge me when I tell you who I went to see, but I don't care because I've had the most amazing time over the past 8 years because of them. Its James Blunt....I can hear you shouting at the screen! I've actually been to 40ish of his gigs since 2006....have been all over mainland UK, Paris and Sofia in Bulgaria.



At the time I first heard Back to Bedlam, Blunty's first album, in February 2005 I was broken, to put it simply. I'd been in an awful, terrible relationship until November 2004. I suffer from severe anxiety and depression anyway, but after that relationship I just stopped, being me, being alive I suppose. When my family looked at me I wasn't there. I was empty, it hurt to breathe. I didn't know who I was anymore. Then, on Friday 18th February 2005, I bought Back to Bedlam after seeing ads on tv and thinking it sounded good. I went to buy it and the woman was somewhat useless, she couldn't find it anywhere (maybe that was a sign?) but I persevered. I just knew I had to buy it then and there....or I'm just a stubborn sod. For a start, this was the first time a spark of me had come back. I didn't care about anything before that, wouldn't demand or fight for anything. So already the man was putting me back together again. I got home and started pottering around the house with the album on in the background. I will never ever forget the moment that Goodbye My Lover came on. I was changing my bedding and I just stopped dead and cried silently. Tears streaming so hard I couldn't see. Yet I didn't make a sound. Then I put in on repeat and sat on the edge of my unmade bed and sobbed my heart out. I cried so hard I couldn't breathe. Then, when the sobbing ended I felt better. Better than I had for months. Somehow, that song, that album, that man brought me back. I needed something to connect to and, with Back to Bedlam and Goodbye My Lover, I found it. I won't say I was fixed and I didn't hurt anymore, because that would be a lie. I was present again though, even though that meant I had to feel all the pain again. At least when my family looked at me, I was there!

After that first day, I went online to find out if he had a website I could nosy at. I found his site, and his message board....and that became my home for the next four or five years. It allowed me to connect with people, to be myself without the risk of rejection and pain. This, too, helped me claw my way back. I bought a ticket for a gig the following February, 22nd February 2006 to be exact....which turned out to be his birthday. I didn't really have anyone to go with, as most my friends weren't really gig-goers (I like that completely made up term!) or they were busy. So I screwed up every ounce of courage I'd ever had and went alone. I did not, however, stay alone for long! A boardie (what we message board members called themselves, well that or Bedlamites!) who was also alone, went along the queue looking for me as she knew I was alone too. So, that night I made a new friend, someone I never would have spoken to if I hadn't 'met' her online before.

As to the rest of the night, and the epic journey that followed......to be continued.......

Thanks for popping by!

Jan
x

Thursday, 15 May 2014

The birthday(s) is over until next year! Plus telling people why you love them more.....can never say it enough!

I wanted to take a few minutes to do a special post about Ian. One of my favourite bloggers/YouTubers, Louise from Sprinkle of Glitter, did this the other day and I really liked it. I don't tell Ian WHY I love him often enough, so tonight I will.

To Ian,

I love you BECAUSE you had very little guidance on how to grow into a wonderful man, yet you managed to do it all by yourself.

I love you BECAUSE by opening your heart to me so completely, so quickly, you allowed me to open my heart to you.

I love you BECAUSE you have so much talent, yet don't realise it. Anyone else would be arrogant!

I love you BECAUSE you support me in every new tangent I go off on! 

I love you BECAUSE you encourage me in every new tangent I go off on!

I love you BECAUSE we can be immature and childish together.

I love you BECAUSE there is not a thought in my head that you don't already know. I never need to say a word because you're thinking the same!

I love you BECAUSE you are the least shallow, superficial and materialistic person on the planet. 

I love you BECAUSE you make me feel safe, loved and protected. I know nobody could harm me if you're with me.

I love you BECAUSE you give the best hugs!

I love you BECAUSE, despite the fact you need to care for me constantly, you never complain, or make me feel like a burden.

I love you BECAUSE you do the most amazing giggles when I tickle you!

I love you BECAUSE of how high pitched, squeaky and camp you get when you're excited!

I love you BECAUSE you have taken my family as your own.

I love you BECAUSE you even took my name, and didn't feel threatened by the fact that I said I would never give up my name, and that I wanted our children to have my name too.

I love you BECAUSE you were truly honoured to become one of my family, and love them as much as they love you.

Basically, the gist is that I love every single little thing about you.....BECAUSE you're YOU!

I love you baby

x

Sorry to provoke nausea but I mean it all!

Thanks for popping by!

Jan
x






Wednesday, 14 May 2014

My toy boy hubby is 28 today! Which means I'm almost 35 yikes!




Well, the morning of the second and final (this year, he's not being euthanised or anything) of the hubby's birthdays has dawned! Well it dawned for me, more 'nooned' for him, but as its his birthday I'll let him off!

Not much special planned for this afternoon, McD's for lunch maybe, a splurge for his birthday....can't remember the last time we could afford it! He got birthday money from mum and gran so it will be a nice treat for us. This evening we'll be off to my dad and other gran's house for tea (remember, Northern lass, lunch is dinner and dinner is tea....) and birthday fun! Then home for snuggles and Disney films (just a guess, but he has been wanting to watch Tangled and Frozen again! Bless his camp ickle cotton socks!)!

We were supposed to see Amazing Spiderman 2 last night but, shock horror, I haven't been well so we couldn't go. Cue huge guilt from me about being a terrible wifey, resulting in a grand total of 30 mins sleep last night. That 30 mins also included a terrible nightmare that upset me so much I had to wake him for a cuddle! So no more sleep was forthcoming! Hopefully I can manage to stay awake, as I want to make him a Wolverine chibi for his birthday! Since we're struggling to make ends meet we haven't bought each other presents for the past couple of years sadly. I love to give presents so making gifts is something I try to do for all my family.

I may pop back later with another birthday post....but for now I'll just say....

Happy birthday Ian! I love you more than anything in the world! Meeting you was the best thing that has ever happened to me, and I can never tell you how much you mean to me, I just don't have the words.

Happy birthday to everyone else who is celebrating today too!

Thanks for popping by!

Jan
x