FTV has a new home (sort of)

Long story short: my deal with GoDaddy was up for renewal and they were asking too much for both the domain name and to host so one had to go. I’ve found my old account here on WordPress which I will work on updating as best as I can with the free formatting. I’m disappointed that I cannot access my old photos and content in general but, such is life.

To new beginnings.

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Relearning to Write

Since I started this blog, posts only seem to come en masse or at intervals explaining absences. Today’s is the latter. The past few months haven’t been the happiest. I’ve lost people and animals to both distance and the stars. Trying to stay stable emotionally while keeping the happy facade to others has been quite the difficulty and numerous times I have crumbled in private. But, such is life and is all chalked up to experience, I guess.

The purse strings were tied dramatically this Spring (it’s only officially been Summer for a couple of weeks) since booking a break to Paris to stay at Disneyland. Not having had a Disney fix for a number of years and it coinciding with my birthday meant I was going to splurge. The haul will follow at some point!

I’ve been working on a couple of zines, one of which is cat related. Nothing intense. It’s something I started to put together during May and obviously went on hold since. I aim to have both that and my perzine out by Autumn. My journaling has suffered immensely and I hate that I’ve left my books to the side.

Because I’m quite the List Person, here is a small list of happy things from the past few months:

To watch: Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, Eureka. Having Netflix from the US was one of the best changes this year. I’d like my own Pawnee Ben, please. Nashville was very enjoyable too
To hear: the Beach Boys and OMD.
To read: It’s still taking me a while to finish the books. Doesn’t help when I start new ones

New Year can wait; Autumn resolutions are on the horizon.

Cotswold Wildlife Park

Despite living less than ten minutes away from Cotswold Wildlife Park, I hadn’t paid a visit until July of last year. Christmas saw Santa bring me a season ticket/annual pass which I didn’t redeem until today because the weather has been, frankly, English. The weathermen,  however, were spot on for today. The sun was out first thing and today was the day to get back there. It took a good half hour to get through to the main ticket kiosks and there were four queues running which I wasn’t quite prepared for. For various reasons, I didn’t stay very long but this was a lovely time out from the world while I was there.

Here are just a few images. I didn’t take a great deal of photos this time around because it was just  a short time out of the house and I’ve not been feeling too well all weekend anyway.

The main house

The main house

Giant tortoise. All three were out taking a stroll. Quite amazing to see them walking with such a weight to carry.

Giant tortoise. All three were out taking a stroll. Quite amazing to see them walking with such a weight to carry.

 

Meerkat. This was a small enclosure. I didn't see the main one by the penguin area today but the two pups in here were just as cute.

Meerkat. This was a small enclosure. I didn’t see the main one by the penguin area today but the two pups in here were just as cute.

Round to the right was one being either fed or handled by people which I was concerned about for both parties. No sign of staff advising them otherwise though.

Round to the right was one being either fed or handled by people which I was concerned about for both parties. No sign of staff advising them otherwise though.

 

Amur Leopard. Quite excited to see this beauty so well today. Last time it was walking circles in front of the window, through the bushes, making viewing quite difficult.

Amur Leopard. Quite excited to see this beauty so well today. Last time it was walking circles in front of the window, through the bushes, making viewing quite difficult.

Group portrait

Group portrait

 

I should have made a note as to which type of owl this is. Beautiful!

I should have made a note as to which type of owl this is. Beautiful!

I felt so very sorry for pending guests. The queues immediately outside of the park were as we’d left them, two hour previously, but continued on the main road, two miles to the Burford roundabout and stretched further, bound for Witney. I do hope everybody who made the trek today was able to get in and enjoyed themselves.

Discounted Beauty Buys

While our coupons amount to very little in the UK compared with our friends across the pond, not even a glimmer of what goes on during an episode of Extreme Couponing, we do have a good number of websites offering reduced rate products. I am a woman who believes in stock piling; nearly everything I buy will be on some offer, more often, a 3-for-2 or BOGOF deal. I have drawers full of spare deodrants, hair colourings, cotton wool pads etc. It’s not a huge number but I’m never going to suddenly run out of these things. So, cosmetics.

Apart from the odd shop, Boots and Superdrug rule the high street and rule our purses. The convenience apart from having your purchase the same day, is you can test the shades. This is great but the prices are so much more than online comparitively. This short blog shows two purchases. The first is from cosmeticsfairy.co.uk who sell brands I know and are likely discontinued shades from the US. No complaints here. The second is from fragrancedirect.co.uk.

I change my nail colours most days and the NYC brand has nice shades at a low price. RRP on the high street: £1.79. Average price I paid for these: £0.49

I change my nail colours most days and the NYC brand has nice shades at a low price. RRP on the high street: £1.79. Average price I paid for these: £0.49

Not the best light

Not the best light

  

Dodgy lighting with this one. Bottom right is nail hardener! Most expensive was the mini Essie bottle in the middle of the bottom row

Dodgy lighting with this one. Bottom right is nail hardener!
Most expensive was the mini Essie bottle in the middle of the bottom row

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Not the easiest to shoot

Not the easiest to shoot

Dainty Doll by Nicola Roberts. I hadn't used this brand before but it's very low price and the fact it's great for pale skin like mine was a winning combination

Dainty Doll by Nicola Roberts. I hadn’t used this brand before but it’s very low price and the fact it’s great for pale skin like mine was a winning combination

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The second purchase at Fragrance Direct, with postage was about £10 and I worked out I saved over £30 on the retail price.

YBF Beauty – Flawless Face Collection

Another one of my beauty buys in recent weeks is the Flawless Face Collection by YBF Beauty. Quick brand background: its founder, Stacey Schefflin, was a Ford model and after retiring from the cameras and catwalks, she created a cosmetics range, Models Prefer. Initially sold in the UK with QVC, Models Prefer changed their ingredients and were rebranded as YBF; Your Best Friend. This also included a small fashion line. From what I had read, there were a few legal issues with QVC in the US which affected her selling with QVC UK. A short while later the YBF beauty line was sold with Ideal World but this was a short lived venture.

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After a couple of absent years, Stacey returned to QVC UK and also had a TSV which of course, my collection needed. So what did we get in this box of delights?

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Yellow powder and yellow cream. Despite the colouring in the packaging, these do not make your face yellow. They have some magical chemical ability to neutralise the redness in your face. I like the cream for my eyelids and a dusting of the powder once my foundation was on for setting.

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The highlighting cream brings a nice shimmer to the skin and brightens up eyes when added to the corner and also below the eyebrows. For lips we have a trio of lip liner, lipstick and lipgloss. They smell divine! Out of the three, I have used the lipgloss most as it is easiest to apply in the office without needing a mirror and I tend not to use a lip liner in the spring and summer months.

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The main reason for my purchase of this is the automatic eyebrow pencil. This is amazing! I’ve read some reviews from people who have had problems with this creation and I think it’s pure bad luck and a pencil perhaps made on a Friday. Apart from never needing a sharpener with this, it works for everyone’s skin tone and hair colour. I’ve had various shades of hair on the colour spectrum and this has worked with all of them. It’s all in the pressure so the lightest of blondes, greys to the red and black hair colours, this really does work.

Then of course, if you don’t like this kit, because it’s bought from QVC, you can return it for a refund (minus p&p) within 30 days, even if you’ve used it a couple of times. I love this option but I’m yet to try it with a Lulu Guinness bag (but would I really want to return such a thing?!).

The item number for this is 202953 and at date of posting the price is £35.00

Departures

Some of my earlier posts have vanished from my blog and I do not know why. The notifications of comments left and those I have replied to remain in my dashboard but all the links are dead. Blogs, people, feelings ~ they disappear with no real reason. You could spend hours trying to understand why but this won’t do you a lot of good. Acknowledge the absence and move on. Beating yourself up is counter productive and can only make the situation worse.

I was having a fairly good day until three hours ago when I chipped the inside of one of my lower teeth. Weak teeth run in my family and it was only a matter of time before I needed an unscheduled visit to the dentist. Funny how this can completely change your outlook on the evening and essentially ruin your day, pushing away the quite pleasant previous hours. Trying not to dwell on things, I used my Self Therapy pad by KnockKnock which did help momentarily but once the form was complete, folded and in a drawer, I was left wondering, “Now what? Ah yes, spending the remainder of the evening feeling the cracked tooth and feeling completely pathetic.”

Don’t beat yourself up! Things happen. Teeth break, dentists fix them and you claim the money back with the employee healthcare thing you signed up for last year; the one where you pocketed the logo-emblazoned pens from the meeting for the sole reason being that they were made of pink plastic. This will all blow over in a week, or maybe two, depending on how quickly you can get an appointment.

Mountain. Molehill. If I didn’t already have an alternate middle name to change with the Deed Poll documents sitting in their envelope, those would be what I’d make the change to.

In other news, one of the two beauty subscription boxes arrived yesterday so I shall be working on a little review/pictorial post soon.

In second other news, last week I got my ink on, scribbling away on myriad Post Its at work for zine pieces. I miss writing zines. Even more so, I miss the whole glue, copy, cut and staple part. It’s incredibly satisfying having a mound of paper which you then fold and have produced a piece of work. Aiming for an .5 issue number too. .5 rather than 1/2.

Graze – Subscription Box Review

I may be a little slow with the existence of the subscription boxes in the UK, but I’m giving them a go, all the same. Graze boxes first started arriving in my mailbox last Spring and apart from a short break (finances were more important to acquire my new car), I have continued weekly since my first box. There have only been two occasions when my boxes didn’t arrive on my designated but both times they were delivered on the folowing day.

Apart from the health factor, what I like most is being introduced to foods I hadn’t tried before. I am not a big fan of fruit but with these I can try them in small portions and quite often find that I do like them. The same can be said of the savoury ingredients. Buying a whole bag of Wasabi peas in Holland and Barratt can be daunting if you’ve never eaten them before (and  also a waste of money) but the small portions with Graze act as an excellent introduction.

If there are any foods you don’t like, you can simply choose not to have them sent. Likewise, if there is something you’d really like soon, can can select for them to be sent in the next delivery or two. For me, this is a fortnightly action for Cheddar Gorge! All boxes are sent with four small containers of food, a napkin and a leaflet with a brief introduction. Apart from the address label and outer film, all can be placed in your recycling bins too.

If you want to try a Graze box for free, go to www.graze.com and enter the code R95Q2D7d on the website. You will need to enter payment details but this is so they can charge you for future boxes. Please note though there is no pressure to start a subscription; if you don’t like what you get with your free box, you can stop it. You can also cancel your subscription or change your delivery date at any time. Also, none of your personal/card details are passed on to me.

So, what does it all look like?

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Inside. Now and again I receive vouchers for 2 free boxes to pass on to people, as enclosed this week

Inside. Now and again I receive vouchers for 2 free boxes to pass on to people, as enclosed this week

Inside 2, without vouchers

Inside 2, without vouchers

 

Information leaflet

Information leaflet

All the nutritional information for each box, including use by dates and calories